Tallahassee Journal

Businesses added 213,000 jobs in January

Businesses added 213,000 jobs in January

The labor market cooled off a bit to begin 2015, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday, as businesses added a still-solid 213,000 jobs in January. Economists estimated the report would show 223,000 new private sector jobs. They expect 235,000 payroll gains in the Labor Department’s closely watched survey this Friday of the private- and public-sectors.635585735655017800-GTY-163366210

Last year, Labor said employers added an average 246,000 jobs a month in 2014, the strongest year for employment growth since 1999. In January, ADP said, mid-sized companies added 95,000 jobs; small businesses, 78,000; and large companies, 40,000. Trade, transportation and utilities led the payroll gains with 54,000. Professional and business services added 42,000; construction, 18,000; and manufacturing, 14,000.

“Businesses in the energy and supplying industries are already scaling back payrolls in reaction to the collapse in oil prices, while industries benefiting from the lower prices have been slower to increase their hiring,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which helps ADP compile the report. He added, however, “All indications are that the job market will continue to improve in 2015.”

ADP attempts to foreshadow Labor’s report and generally reflects similar trends. But its initial estimates varied from Labor’s initial private-sector totals by an average 23,000 a month in 2014, according to High Frequency Economics. Consumer confidence has surged recently on falling gasoline prices and stronger job growth. But business investment and factory output have slowed as the stronger dollar hurts US exports and plunging oil prices dampen energy investment. A labor slowdown caused by a contract dispute at West Coast ports is also impeding deliveries of manufactured goods.

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