US Private Sector Hiring Was Robust In March

Private sector US employers added 455,000 jobs in March, ADP said Wednesday.

It was a remarkably in-line print, to the extent something can be “remarkably” as-expected. The range of estimates from three-dozen economists was 350,000 to 650,000.

February’s headline was revised slightly higher, to 486,000 from 475,000. It was, in short, another month of consistent gains (figure below).

ADP hasn’t been the best predictor of NFP in the pandemic era, but the data is becoming more predictable.

Gains were evenly distributed in March, with small, midsized and large employers all contributing to the headline.

Every category in both goods and services added jobs with the sole exception of information. Leisure and hospitality continued to chip away at pandemic losses, with a 161,000 add (figure below).

“Job growth was broad-based across sectors in March, contributing to the nearly 1.5 million jobs added for the first quarter in 2022,” ADP chief economist Nela Richardson said, in a press release. “Businesses are hiring, specifically among the service providers which had the most ground to make up due to early pandemic losses.”

Frankly, there wasn’t much to glean from the figures. Labor supply is constrained and employers are desperate to hire. Gains are likely to be solid over the next few months barring some new pandemic curve ball or the “early” onset of severe demand destruction amid surging prices for everything from gas to food to homes.

Data out Tuesday showed the US labor market is still a funhouse mirror. Competition for scarce workers is fierce and churn is endemic.

When it comes to recession fears, remember that the labor market can be a lagging indicator.

Read more: Wage-Price Spiral Beckons As Americans Quit By The Millions

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6 thoughts on “US Private Sector Hiring Was Robust In March

  1. It seems so obvious that we, the voters, need to give Congress a mandate to fix our immigration problems and shortfalls. A legal path to citizenship for existing “illegal” immigrants plus an intelligent and legal program for future immigration needs.
    Now that the Boomers are retiring, if they can’t get waited on at a restaurant, coffee shop, retail store, etc. – they are going to start screaming. And we already know that whatever the Boomers want, the Boomers get.
    Full disclosure- my birth year puts me at the tail end of the Boomer era- however, this is a group I have never, ever “identified” with.

    1. Hello, EN. I agree with you completely in regard to the need to open up immigration in the United States. Where relevant in response to H’s writings, I’ve promoted the idea of immigration, which is the obvious, practical answer to unfilled jobs in an aging country with a falling birth rate like ours. But the party of Lincoln takes issue with how to solve the problem, given that the folks coming to our borders are often not white. And in the process, our country is left with unfilled jobs, many of which could support our small business community. There’s nothing conservative about that!

      To your assertion that “we, the voters, need to give Congress a mandate to fix our immigration system,” I believe that would require us to elect significant democratic majorities in the House and in the Senate. It could happen, but it isn’t realistic this year.

      I believe the party of Lincoln suffers gravely when some of its members deliberately incite fear in the body politic. Those fears enable a pretext for blocking tactics in the Congress (a la Newt Gingrich), which subvert the effectiveness of the Congress itself. But in the process, in my opinion, whether they’re discussing simple bills or a budget, they subvert the promise of our country for all of its people. Furthermore, sadly, those members in the party of Lincoln have created a monster of prejudice that encourages impulses to violence. I’ve watched this “blocking” style of politics since the 90s. Correct me if I’ve erred in my assertions, but I make no apologies for calling it out. It is what it is.

      Though I am still working, I also believe like you that the abundance of people leaving the workforce are retiring boomers. I reckon it’s good for them to retire. It makes sense. But personally, I make my own coffee and enjoy my work (as a writer). And though age generally can affect one’s wits, my work exercises the mind and helps me feel useful. I’m also a boxer, which is a surprisingly mental game that exercises both body and wits.

      1. Believe it or not, I was born in Springfield, Illinois (Land of Lincoln) and lived there until I was 18. I have transitioned from a Republican to a Libertarian to a (mostly) Democratic voter. However, I am registered “Independent” because I hate to receive unsolicited calls/requests. I now live in Colorado and we have a great governor- Polis. I like many of the libertarian principles- but it feels like I was throwing away my vote.
        I make French Press almost every morning. I only go to Starbucks if I am on a long drive- I don’t like their coffee, but it keeps me awake.

  2. Maybe all the unemployed people from the pandemic are burned out by the inhuman screening processing that weeds them out, as if they’re weeds?

    Samuel O’Brient

    Recruited by Robots: The Threat that AI Poses to Job Seekers

    Automation is costing people jobs, but not in the way that you think

    According to a 2021 report from Harvard Business School and Accenture, AI tools have stopped 27 million people from finding jobs in their chosen fields. Perhaps the business leaders who lamented the lack of workers should reexamine their hiring processes…

    Full disclosure: I am not a bot and have no financial links to any artificial intelligence

      1. The pandemic accelerated social changes that were already evolving, like the death of downtown hubs, ma and pa stores, including greasy spoon hangouts, and eventually a lot of big box decay and mall abandonment, etc.

        Within that long ugly cycle, AI became somewhat connected to job search engines, including everything from busboys to software gurus. Granted the lowest wage jobs that aren’t part of franchise chain probably end up in newspaper ads, but, most local newspaper publishing is online or connected to a larger owner that still may end up with help wanted ads that are filtered in some way, due to volume and time constraints.

        It seems like this whole area of super efficiency is behind the current bottleneck blunder and possibly behind the inability to locate busboys, elevator operators, buggywhip technicians, waitresses, wine stewards, radio repair people, tv antenna installation consultants, etc.

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