Economy Watch: ADP Says 230K Jobs Added in October

U.S. private-sector employment increased by 230,000 jobs in October, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

U.S. private-sector employment increased by 230,000 jobs in October, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report, which was released on Wednesday. The report, which is derived from ADP’s payroll data, measures the change in total private employment each month, and only sometimes gibes with official employment data, which will be released for October by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

Small and mid-sized private businesses did most of the hiring, reported ADP. Small businesses (fewer than 50 workers) hired a net of 102,000 people, while medium businesses (50-500 workers) added 122,000. Companies employing more than 500 workers added only a net of 5,000 jobs for the month.

“The job market is steadily picking up pace,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, says (Moody’s prepares the report for ADP). “Job growth is strong and broad-based across industries and company sizes. At this pace of job growth, unemployment and underemployment is quickly declining. The job market will soon be tight enough to support a meaningful acceleration in wage growth.”

ISM non-manufacturing index still shows growth

Economic activity in the American non-manufacturing sector grew in October for the 57th consecutive month, according to the latest Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business, which was released by the Institute for Supply Management on Wednesday. The non-manufacturing index came in at 57.1 percent in October, 1.5 percentage points lower than the September reading of 58.6 percent, but it still represents continued growth in the sector.

The ISM’s Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index decreased to 60 percent, which is 2.9 percentage points lower than the September reading. The New Orders Index came in at 59.1 percent, 1.9 percentage points lower than September, while the Employment Index increased 1.1 percentage points to 59.6 percent in September.

According to the organization, 16 non-manufacturing industries reported growth in October. “The majority of the respondents’ comments reflect favorable business conditions; however, there is an indication that there continues to be a leveling off from the strong rate of growth of the preceding months,” ISM chair Anthony Nieves notes.

Bankruptcy numbers dropping

Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the fiscal year 2014—the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, 2014—totaled 963,739, down 13 percent from the 1.1 million bankruptcy filings in FY 2013, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That’s the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007.

Except (mainly) for tech stocks, Wall Street had another strong day on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 100.69 points, or 0.58 percent, while the S&P 500 advanced 0/57 percent, both close to record nominal highs. The Nasdaq, however, saw a tiny loss of 0.06 percent.

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