US companies continued to add jobs back in August, but at a slower pace than economists expected as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic recession slows.
US private payrolls rose 428,000 in August, according to the ADP monthly employment reported released Wednesday. That fell short of the median economist estimate that US companies would add back 1 million jobs during the month, according to Bloomberg data.
“The August job postings demonstrate a slow recovery,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a press release. “Job gains are minimal, and businesses across all sizes and sectors have yet to come close to their pre-COVID-19 employment levels.”
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The bulk of the jobs added back during the month were in the services-producing sector, according to the report. Overall, sector employment rose by 389,000 in August, with the biggest gains in education and healthcare jobs and leisure and hospitality. Only information employment fell slightly.
On the flip side, the goods producing sector added back only 40,000 jobs overall, with the majority of those gains coming from construction.
Large companies, with 500 or more employees, added back 298,000 jobs in August. Mid-sized firms gained 79,000 jobs, and small companies added 52,000 payrolls.
The monthly employment report from ADP is considered a precursor to the government nonfarm payrolls report, due to be released Friday. Economists also expect that the August jobs report will show that the US economy added payrolls during the month, but at a slower rate as the recovery loses momentum.
Still, the ADP report has lagged the nonfarm payrolls release in recent months, signaling that Friday’s jobs report may be more optimistic than today’s print.