ShareThis Page
Allegheny

Survey: U.S. companies added a solid 163,000 jobs in August

| Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, 9:21 a.m.
In this is a July 25, 2018, photo cars drive by a help wanted sign at a Cook Out fast food restaurant in Jackson, Miss. On Thursday, Sept. 6, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in August. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)
In this is a July 25, 2018, photo cars drive by a help wanted sign at a Cook Out fast food restaurant in Jackson, Miss. On Thursday, Sept. 6, payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in August. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP)

WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses added 163,000 jobs in August, a private survey found, a decent gain that suggests that employers are confident enough to keep hiring.

Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that the job gains were the fewest since October. But last month’s pace of hiring is still enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

Solid economic growth is underpinning an optimistic outlook among businesses. Growth reached 4.2 percent at an annual rate in the April-June quarter, the fastest pace in four years, spurred by tax cuts and robust consumer spending.

ADP’s hiring figures come a day before the government will release its official jobs data for August. Economists have forecast that Friday’s report will show that employers added a solid 189,000 jobs last month, according to data provider FactSet.

The job gains ADP reported for August were much lower than the 217,000 that it said were added in July. Hiring by small businesses — defined as those with fewer than 50 employees — remained sluggish last month and depressed overall job growth.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said that with the unemployment rate at a low 3.9 percent, smaller companies are having a harder time finding workers. Larger firms are typically able to offer high pay or more benefits and can pull in more employees as a result.

Hiring was particularly strong last month for medium-sized companies, with 50 to 499 employees.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, lowered his forecast for August hiring to 170,000 after the ADP report was issued.

“This is a bit disappointing but hardly a disaster,” Shepherdson said.

ADP compiles hiring data from millions of companies that are clients of its payroll services. Its figures frequently diverge from the government’s data but tend to approximate them over time.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me