Employers in the United States added workers at a healthy rate in November, indicating that employers are working hard to fill a near-record number of open positions.
According to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday, businesses’ payrolls increased by 534,000 last month, following a 570,000 increase in October. According to the median forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg, the increase would be 525,000.
The figures point to steady progress in a labor market where skill mismatches, job switching, and pandemic-related factors continue to make it difficult for employers to attract and retain workers. Total employment, as measured by ADP jobs, remains significantly lower than it was before the pandemic, and the emerging omicron variant poses a risk to labor force participation.
The figures come ahead of the Labor Department’s monthly employment report, which is expected to show that private payrolls increased by 525,000 in November.
“The labor market recovery continued to power through its challenges last month,” Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Service providers, which are more vulnerable to the pandemic, have dominated job gains this year. It’s too early to tell if the omicron variant could potentially slow the jobs recovery in the coming months.
In November, service-provider employment increased by 424,000, led by leisure and hospitality jobs . Professional and business services employment increased by the most since June 2020. Transportation employment increased significantly as well.”
Payrolls at goods producers rose by 110,000, reflecting sizable gains in manufacturing and construction. Employment at companies with at least 500 workers increased by 277,000 in November. Small businesses posted a gain of 115,000. ADP’s payroll data represent firms employing nearly 26 million workers in the U.S.