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US private payrolls rebounded in January - ADP

US private payrolls rebounded in January - ADP

FILE PHOTO: Job seekers line up at a job fair of an oil services giant Halliburton at the MCM Grande Fundome hotel in Odessa, Texas, U.S., July 19, 2018. Picture taken on July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Liz Hampton

WASHINGTON: Hiring by U.S. private employers rebounded in January, though COVID-19 infections continued to soar, hurting operations in the leisure and hospitality industry.

Private payrolls increased by 174,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday. Data for December was revised to show 78,000 jobs lost instead of the initially reported 123,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast private payrolls would rebound by 49,000 in January.

January was the worst month of the coronavirus pandemic since it started in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, forcing consumers to hunker down. But authorities have started to ease restrictions on businesses.

Job growth is expected to pick up in the spring as the boost from nearly US$900 billion in additional pandemic relief provided by the government in late December kicks in.

President Joe Biden has unveiled a recovery plan worth US$1.9 trillion, though resistance from some lawmakers worried about the ballooning national debt could see the package trimmed. The Biden administration has pledged to speed up and simplify the distribution of vaccines.

The ADP report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics. Though it has a spotty record predicting the private payrolls count in the government's employment report because of methodology differences, it is still watched for clues on the labor market's health.

According to a Reuters poll of economists, the closely watched, and comprehensive monthly employment report on Friday is likely to show nonfarm payrolls increased by 50,000 jobs in January after declining by 140,000 in December. That was the first decline in employment in eight months.

Expectations for a rebound in hiring were bolstered by a report on Monday from the Institute for Supply Management showing that manufacturers hired more workers in January, though a flare-up in COVID-19 infections caused labor shortages at factories and their suppliers.

But the Conference Board's survey last week showed consumers' perceptions of labor market conditions deteriorated further in January.

The economy has recouped 12.5 million of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April. The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Monday that employment would not return to its pre-pandemic level before 2024.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: Reuters

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