Economists say the US jobs market has likely peaked
Washington (AFP) - Hiring by private US firms slowed in November and may have peaked, as companies that produce goods and services brought on fewer workers, according to a monthly survey released Thursday.
The data is a worrisome addition to recent hints that the US economy might be slowing, and come after major job-cutting announcements from companies like General Motors and Ford.
Employment increased 179,000 last month, dropping more than analysts had expected following two months of gains over 200,000, according to payroll services firm ADP’s National Employment Report.
The services sector added 163,000 workers, while goods-producing industries hired just 16,000, nearly a third less than in the prior month.
Manufacturing hiring screeched to a near halt, adding just 4,000 workers – the fewest in any month in almost two years.
The impact of two hurricanes in October may have influenced some of the figures, but economists say it has less of an impact on the ADP report which is derived from actual payroll data and covers nearly 24 million workers.
“Job growth is strong, but has likely peaked,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, who helped prepare the data.
“This month’s report is free of significant weather effects and suggests slowing underlying job creation.”
The ADP data is scrutinized ahead of the government’s official employment report, due out Friday, and which economists project will show a gain of 185,000 non-farm jobs.
However, the two surveys are frequently out of step and last month the difference was about 100,000 positions.