Federal Reserve Faces Dilemma as ADP Payroll Numbers Miss Estimates

James Hyerczyk

ADP's report shows just 89,000 new private-sector jobs, far below the expected 160,000, signaling the Fed may reconsider its monetary policy.

ADP Employment


  • ADP reports just 89,000 private-sector jobs in September.
  • Services sector shines, but others falter.
  • Annual wage growth slows to 5.9%.

Private Payroll Numbers: A Bearish Signal for Labor Market?

Despite forecasts of robust job growth, ADP’s recent report reveals a surprisingly low addition of 89,000 private-sector jobs in September, falling far below economists’ estimates of 160,000. This slow growth in private employment suggests a weaker-than-anticipated labor market, posing questions for the Federal Reserve’s future monetary policy decisions.

Contrary to Previous Indicators

This unexpected downturn in job growth contradicts other positive signs in the labor market. Just a day earlier, the Labor Department had indicated an unexpected rise in job openings for August. The ADP numbers mainly reflect contributions from the services sector, which added 81,000 jobs. Interestingly, leisure and hospitality outpaced other sectors, accounting for 92,000 new jobs.

Sectoral Ups and Downs

While some sectors flourished, others staggered. Financial activities, construction, and education and health services posted gains of 17,000, 16,000, and 10,000 jobs respectively. On the flip side, losses were observed in professional and business services (32,000), trade, transportation and utilities (13,000), and manufacturing (12,000). This mix of gains and losses complicates the overall outlook on employment.

Wage Growth and Policy Implications

The ADP report also highlighted a slowdown in annual wage growth to 5.9%, marking the 12th consecutive month of decline. This could provide the Federal Reserve with the impetus to reconsider its interest rate policies, especially in the wake of the report showing a decline in private payroll growth.

Short-Term Forecast: Bearish

Given the numbers, the short-term forecast for the labor market appears bearish. While these are not the official government numbers, which are set to be released later this week, the ADP report raises valid concerns about the health of the labor market and the wider economy. With wage growth slowing down and job growth not meeting expectations, the Federal Reserve may have to re-evaluate its monetary policy approach, a move that could have broad implications for the financial markets.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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