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January 6, 2017

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US firms see modest rise in jobs

US companies reported a modest gain of 153,000 jobs last month, all in service industries such as retail and health care, according to a private survey.

Payroll provider ADP said yesterday that hotels and restaurants added 18,000 jobs in December, while higher-paying professional and business services, such as engineering, added 24,000. Manufacturers lost 9,000 jobs and construction firms shed 2,000.

Businesses added 215,000 jobs in November, the strongest showing since June.

The report points to ongoing, if moderate, job growth. Hiring averaged 174,000 jobs a month in 2016, according to ADP, down from an average of 209,000 in 2015.

The economy grew in the July-September quarter at a solid 3.5 percent annual rate, but growth is likely to be sluggish for all of 2016. Still, consumer confidence has risen since the election, particularly among Republican voters, and the stock market is near record highs.

Businesses are also certain enough in future growth to hold onto their workers.


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