U.S. businesses added more jobs in May, though not as many as economists anticipated–the latest sign that the job market still hasn’t gained significant traction despite a consistent boost in hiring in recent years.
Private-sector payrolls in the U.S. climbed by 179,000 in May, according to a report by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing and analysis provider Moody’s Analytics. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the ADP report to show a 210,000 gain in employment.
Wednesday’s reading showed the lowest growth since January.
“After a strong post-winter rebound in April, job growth in May slowed somewhat,” said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP. Rodriguez said the latest job growth was higher than last year but only in line with the average over the past 12 months.
Meanwhile, the April ADP employment increase was revised down to 215,000 from the 220,000 reported a month ago. The ADP data excludes government payrolls.
The ADP report is issued ahead of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment situation, which reports nonfarm payrolls, the unemployment rate, and other data. The report is due Friday morning, and economists expect it to show 213,000 jobs were created in May, although the unemployment rate is projected to tick up to 6.4% from April’s 6.3%.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said Wednesday the job market “has yet to break out from the pace of growth that has prevailed over the last three years.”
Across all industries, ADP reported the professional and business services segment reported the strongest growth in May, followed by the trade, transportation and utilities sector. Employers of varying sizes generally added more jobs, with the exception of those with 500 to 999 employees, which shed 3,000 jobs last month.