NEW YORK: US private sector job growth unexpectedly slowed to its weakest pace in six months in November, and goods producers and construction firms cut jobs, a private survey said on Wednesday (Dec 4).
US companies' payrolls rose by 67,000 last month, the ADP National Employment Report said. The median forecast among economists polled by Reuters called for a gain of 140,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 120,000 to 188,000.
It was the lowest monthly gain since May when just 46,000 jobs were created, the fewest since 2010, and continues a trend of decelerating job growth that has taken hold this year.
By ADP's measure, American firms have added an average of about 159,000 jobs a month in the last 12 months, the lowest since 2011 and down sharply from an average of more than 200,000 a month at the start of 2019.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised down to 121,000 from an originally reported 125,000 increase.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
"The job market is losing its shine," Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said in a statement. "Manufacturers, commodity producers, and retailers are shedding jobs. Job openings are declining and if job growth slows any further unemployment will increase."
All of November's job gains came from the services sector, which added 85,000 jobs, down from 135,000 in October and the fewest since May.
Goods producers cut jobs for a third straight month, shedding 18,000 positions, spread evenly across the manufacturing, construction and natural resources and mining industries.
The ADP figures come ahead of the US Labour Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for US private payroll employment to have grown by 175,000 jobs in November, up from 131,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have risen by 180,000 after climbing by 128,000 in October.
The unemployment rate is forecast to stay steady at the 3.6 per cent recorded a month earlier.