The ADP employment report for December came in higher than expected today, with the economy adding 215,000 jobs. Data shows that most of those hired last month were in the retail trade service sector. Future reports will certainly drop as retailers scale back employees post holiday season.
Given the more than optimistic report today, Goldman Sachs Chief US Economist has revised expectations for tomorrows nonfarm payroll number from 175,000 to 200,000 and forecasts a constant unemployment rate. Seasonal retail and disaster recovery hires related to Tropical Storm Sandy have boosted employment levels higher than previously expected. These are also likely to drop in coming months given the end to holiday shopping and after sufficient recovery has occurred.
Employers added 155,000 jobs in December according to the latest nonfarm payroll report, with an unchanged unemployment rate at 7.8%. Signs of significant growth occurred in the construction sector likely spurred from disaster recovery efforts. See the full BLS statement here.
The WSJ reports:
There are tentative signs of mounting confidence among both employers and workers. Average hourly earnings rose a substantial 7 cents in December, to $23.73, and the average workweek edged up 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. Both are signs that companies are seeing more demand for their products. Meanwhile, fewer unemployed workers dropped out of the labor force in December and more people reentered the labor force and began looking for jobs. Such optimism came despite the fact that fewer than one in five unemployed workers found jobs last month.