ADP released its monthly jobs report on Thursday, November 1, which showed that U.S companies added 158,000 jobs in October, giving the private sector labor market a bit of good news, Reuters reports.
According to the news source, the latest release was the first ADP National Employment Report to use new methodology, which also led the firm to adjust its September hiring levels by about half, from 162,000 to 88,200. However, due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, neither New Jersey nor Washington, D.C. were able to turn in their employment data. This led the Labor Department to make estimates on hiring data in these states, one analyst from the DOL stated.
Economists now suspect that Sandy could lead to more-than-normal volatility in the number of jobless claims that are filed throughout November. Alongside ADP's report came news that jobless claims had dropped.
"(Jobless claims) are encouraging. There shouldn't be any distortions from the hurricane yet. It seems with the ADP message there is some evidence of labor market improvement," said David Sloane, an economist at 4Cast Ltd. in New York. "It is not totally convincing yet but overall the message is positive and people might be getting a bit more optimistic on the payrolls number."
According to CNN, about 363,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the final full week of October, declining by 9,000 from the previous week. The encouraging numbers also beat the average estimate from economists, who pegged claims to come in at 375,000. The data also showed about 3.3 million Americans finished their second week of unemployment benefits in the week ended October 20.
The ADP report also came in higher than the predictions of analysts, who forecast employment growth of 143,000. The new version of the report, which was performed with the help of Moody's Analytics, provides information on five categories of company size. The smallest businesses employ no more than 19 people, while the largest must employ at least 1,000.
The largest businesses hired at the swiftest rate, and accounted for 69,000 of the jobs that were created last month.
"It feels like the job market is holding its own," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.