The latest monthly employment report from ADP, which is released prior to official government data and is often a strong indicator of hiring activity, found that the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs from August to September, beating many analysts' expectations and sending signs of hope to job seekers across the country.
Although the number came in below the 89,000 people who were hired in August, the report came alongside separate data from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed that new orders led to major growth in the services industry. The index rose to 55.1 in September compared with 53.7 the previous month. This surge in services activity was reflected in the amount of hiring that went on in the service-providing sector, where 144,000 jobs were added.
"It looks more like things are heading in the right direction. It is this new reality - we don't have robust growth, we just have very moderate growth," said William Larkin, fixed income portfolio manager at Cabot Money Management, Bloomberg reported.
The U.S. goods-producing sector, which includes the manufacturing and construction industries, added a total of 18,000 jobs. Individually, manufacturing staffing increased by 4,000, while construction staffing grew by an impressive 10,000 new jobs. This marked the strongest reading since March, when mild weather led to a major boom in construction activity and in turn, new jobs.
The financial services sector continued its parade, adding 7,000 new jobs last month and expanding its streak of gains to 14 consecutive months. The data show that year-to-date employment gains averaged 171,000 per month, compared to an average increased of 138,000 jobs per month in the same period last year.
"The September increase was above the consensus forecast for today’s release and for the official jobs number due out Friday from The Bureau of Labor Statistics," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC. "Continued solid gains in employment since Spring further allay fears that the broad economic recovery may be
undermined by a softening trend in employment. The gain in private employment in September is strong enough to suggest that the national unemployment rate may have declined."
Small businesses led the way in hiring, adding 81,000 new jobs.