ADP Employment: Declines Offset By Healthcare Jobs

April 1, 2020
Bottom Line: ADP reported a much smaller drop in payrolls than expected. Trade, transportation and leisure and hospitality sectors saw job losses of 37k and 11k, respectively, but that was offset by an increase of 48k jobs in the education and health sector. Most of the major layoffs and furloughs amid shutdowns for the novel coronavirus came after the ADP payroll survey for March. Even only reflecting a fraction of the late March layoffs and an increase in healthcare workers, the declines in March turned the trend sharply negative. ADP National Employment FELL by -27k in March, compared with the consensus estimate for a decline of -150k. Meanwhile, the revisions to the prior 3 months subtracted an additional 7k to the previous estimate. Over the past 12 months, private payrolls have increased by an average of 141k per month, lifting employment to 1.3% ABOVE its year-ago level. Jobs in Goods-Producing Industries FELL by 9k jobs but Manufacturing gained 6k workers. Moreover, Construction lost 17k jobs. Meanwhile, Service-Producing Industries FELL by -18k jobs with Professional/Business Services firing -3k workers, Trade/Transport/Utilities subtracting -37k, and Financial Activities increasing by 0k workers. Small Firms fired 90k workers, Medium-Sized Firms grew by 7k employees while Large Firms added 56k positions.