The private sector added just 89,000 jobs last month, far below expectations

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US employers in the private sector added an estimated 89,000 jobs in September, a much lower total than expected and an indication of a sharp pullback in the labor market, payroll processor ADP reported Wednesday.

It’s the slowest pace of job growth in the private sector since January 2021, by ADP’s tabulations.

Economists were expecting a net gain of 153,000 jobs, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates.

“We are seeing a steepening decline in jobs this month,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, in a statement Wednesday morning. “Additionally, we are seeing a steady decline in wages in the past 12 months.”

The ADP report is an independent measure of employment trends and is developed using anonymized and aggregated payroll data from its clients.

While ADP’s tabulations don’t always correlate with the official federal jobs report — due out Friday — it’s sometimes viewed as a proxy for overall hiring activity, which has been gradually easing.

Still, data can be bumpy on a month-by-month basis.

On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report for August showed that the number of available jobs unexpectedly bolted higher, rattling markets. However, economists were quick to note that the underlying trend remains one of cooling.

On Friday, the BLS will release the all-important monthly jobs report for September. Economists are expecting a net gain of 170,000 jobs.

This story is developing and will be updated.


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