Private sector added 742K jobs in April: ADP

Employers in the private sector added 742,000 jobs in April, according to payroll giant ADP, marking robust hiring growth as the economy bounces back despite the pandemic.

Small businesses added 235,000 jobs, including 122,000 at businesses with between one and 19 employees, and 113,000 at companies with between 20 and 49 employees, according to the ADP National Employment Report. Midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees gained 230,000 jobs in April. Large businesses added 277,000 jobs, including 84,000 at companies with between 500 and 999 employees, and 193,000 at corporations with 1,000 employees or more.

The economy has been rebounding this year as more businesses reopen and encounter labor shortages in industries that had to lay off millions of workers early last year. The service-providing sector accounted for the majority of the jobs added in April, gaining 636,000 jobs, including 104,000 in professional and business services such as accounting and tax preparation, 11,000 in financial activities like banking, and 237,000 in leisure and hospitality. The goods-producing sector added 106,000 jobs, including 55,000 in manufacturing and 41,000 in construction. Franchise businesses added 49,600 jobs.

April’s net gain of 742,000 private sector jobs was the strongest monthly increase since September, according to ADP chief economist Nela Richardson, but the private sector is still more than 8 million jobs short of pre-COVID-19 levels. “But the gap is starting to close more quickly,” she said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “Job gains have totaled 1.2 million over the last two months after adding only about 1 million jobs in the five months prior. For the second month in a row, it’s hiring by service sector providers that are the standout for payrolls in our report.”

The 636,000 service jobs is the strongest bounce since the initial reopening in May and June of last year, she noted. “Nearly 10 million jobs have been recouped thus far,” said Richardson. “That’s the good news, but service providers are still down by another seven and a half million from their pre-pandemic peak.”

She expects to see the strongest gains this year in the service sector, especially in the leisure and hospitality sector as restaurants return to normal operations in many parts of the country. About three and a half million jobs remain unrecovered in that sector, with travel and tourism still lagging because of the pandemic. “An untold number of businesses in the industry have failed over the last year,” said Richardson. She expects a similar recovery in the retail trade sector as more stores reopen.

The 104,000 jobs added in April in the professional and business services sector is the strongest growth in nearly a year. “The details are encouraging,” said Richardson. “Most of the acceleration in the hiring over the last two months has come from relatively low-paying administrative and support service segments, accounting for nearly three quarters of all industry jobs recovered thus far. This is due to the recovery of many office support roles as companies continue to evaluate back-to-office plans in much of the country, and this uncertainty still remains. Firms are leaning more on temp hiring to meet current needs until we get a more normal workplace environment.”

Global workforce trends

Last week, ADP released a report on how the workforce has been adjusting globally this year. The ADP Research Institute polled more than 32,000 adult workers, including gig economy workers, in 17 countries and found that unpaid overtime has soared among many workers, and women and Gen Z workers have been hit the hardest by the pandemic.

Unpaid overtime jumped sharply to 9.2 hours per week on average, up from 7.3 hours only a year ago.

Nearly four out of five (78 percent) Generation Z workers between 18 and 24 years old feel their professional lives are affected and 39 percent reported they had lost jobs, were furloughed, or suffered a temporary layoff from their employer. Optimism among Gen Z workers has fallen substantially (to 83 percent from 93 percent), far more than other generations.

Women have been less likely than men to receive a bonus or pay raise for taking on extra work or changing roles, with the biggest gap in North America, where 62 percent of men received a bonus or pay raise for changes to their roles, compared to only 50 percent for women.

Much of the workforce has shifted to remote work over the past year due to the pandemic, but that hasn’t been comfortable for many workers.

“Three in five workers feel judged for taking advantage of flexible work,” said Richardson during a press conference last week. “That’s a legacy of how flexible work was regarded before the pandemic. We also found that 62 percent felt they were monitored more closely by their supervisors. As companies debate how to transition workers back to onsite work, it’s worth noting that workers themselves did not report a significant loss in productivity in their shift to remote work. Only 10 percent of remote workers said that productivity was a challenge compared to 13 percent of onsite workers. Interestingly, hybrid workers who pingpong between working remotely and onsite actually reported the highest drop in productivity.”

Next Post

Dow books 22nd record close of 2021, but tech stocks slip for 4th day

Wed May 5 , 2021
The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up to another record close Wednesday, despite concerns about rising inflation and the eventual withdrawal of flush monetary policy as the economy reopens in the wake of the pandemic, though technology stocks fell for a fourth straight day. Market participants also parsed dovish […]