ADP Says Payrolls Shrunk (again) in March

Nonfarm employment slipped by 23,000 this month vs. February on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to today’s update of the ADP National Employment Report. That’s disappointing news, and it suggests that Friday’s employment report from the Labor Department may be less than stellar. Or does it?

Maybe not. The consensus forecast for the government’s Friday nonfarm payrolls number calls for a gain of 190,000, according to Briefing.com. That’s a long way from -23,000 via today’s ADP report. Why the wide gap? Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which co-publishes the ADP data, offers an explanation by way of CNNMoney.com:

Since employment as measured by the ADP Report was not restrained in February by the effects of inclement weather, today’s figure does not incorporate a weather-related rebound that could be present in this month’s [Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)] data. In addition, today’s figure does not include any federal hiring in March for the 2010 Census. For both these reasons, it is reasonable to expect that Friday’s employment figure from the BLS will be stronger than today’s estimate in the ADP National Employment Report.

The ADP press release also cites weather issues, advising:

…today’s figure does not incorporate a weather-related rebound that could be present in this month’s BLS data. In addition, today’s figure does not include any federal hiring in March for the 2010 Census. For both these reasons, it is reasonable to expect that Friday’s employment figure from the BLS will be stronger than today’s estimate in the ADP National Employment Report.

Hope still springs eternal, or at least until Friday’s news on the Labor Department’s jobs report.

About James Picerno 894 Articles

James Picerno is a financial journalist who has been writing about finance and investment theory for more than twenty years. He writes for trade magazines read by financial professionals and financial advisers.

Over the years, he’s written for the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Reuters.

Visit: The Capital Spectator

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