US companies add fewer jobs than forecast, ADP data show

US companies added fewer jobs in November than forecast, signaling a deceleration in hiring as coronavirus cases surge and some governments begin imposing new restrictions.

Businesses’ payrolls increased by 307,000 during the month, the smallest advance since July, after an upwardly revised 404,000 gain in the prior month, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 440,000 advance.

The slower-than-expected pace of hiring illustrates the labor market’s uneven recovery as Covid-19 continues to spread and some states and local governments enact new restrictions on restaurants, retail and travel. At the same time, Congress has yet to agree on another round of fiscal assistance to shore up the most-affected businesses and keep employees on payrolls.

The data precede the federal government’s monthly jobs report on Friday, which is forecast to show private payrolls increased by about 486,000 after a 638,000 gain in October.

Service-provider employment increased 276,000 in November, reflecting gains in leisure and hospitality, health care and business services, according to ADP. Payrolls at goods producers rose 31,000 last month, including a 22,000 gain at construction firms.

Payrolls at small, medium and large businesses all increased, with the biggest advance occurring at medium-size firms. Hiring rose 139,000 at those companies with 50 to 499 employees. Large businesses added 58,000 to payrolls and small companies took on 110,000 workers.

ADP’s payroll data represent firms employing nearly 26 million workers in the US.

US companies add fewer jobs than forecast, ADP data show

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