The U.S. economy added 166,000 workers in the private sector in September, according to payroll processing firm ADP's monthly employment report. While the goods-producing sector increased by 19,000 jobs, the bulk were in construction (16,000) and manufacturing gained only 1,000 jobs.
“The job market appears to have softened in recent months,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Fiscal austerity has begun to take a toll on job creation.” Zandi added there remains a “general resilience” in the job market and that the job growth rate in September was “consistent with a slowly declining unemployment rate.”
Noting that manufacturing has shed 12,000 workers in the first nine months of 2013, Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, said manufacturing employment growth “continues to be disappointing.”
ADP’s monthly report received particular attention because the federal government shutdown was likely to result in the Bureau of Labor Statistics not issuing its payroll report on time.
“Taken at face value, this would leave us little changed from the average 158,000 private payrolls added over the past three months,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Sterne Agee.