May was the slowest month in jobs recovery as private payrolls increased by just 128,000

According to a private assessment, employers in the United States added the fewest jobs in May since the recession recovery began, implying that employers failed to find and keep workers in the month despite a near-record number of job postings.

According to ADP Research Institute data issued Thursday, businesses’ payrolls grew by 128,000 last month, despite a fall in small business employment. This came after a downwardly revised 202,000 gain in April, and it fell short of all economists’ expectations in a Bloomberg poll.

Companies are still trying to hire from a limited pool of workers, as seen by the lower-than-expected results. Nonetheless, persistently high inflation, combined with a dropping savings rate, may tempt more Americans to work in the months ahead.

This would be good news for the Federal Reserve, which is anticipating that higher labor-force participation will reduce demand for workers, so slowing wage rise and inflation. That may take some time to manifest—a separate survey released on Wednesday revealed that job openings in the United States dipped in April from a high in March, but remained high at about double the number of unemployed Americans.

The figures come ahead of the government’s monthly jobs report, which is expected to show a 301,000 increase in private payrolls in May. The ADP figures don’t always match up with the Labor Department’s numbers.

“Job growth has slowed across all industries, but small businesses continue to be a source of concern as they struggle to stay up with larger organisations that have been thriving recently,” said Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist.

Entrepreneurial ventures

During the month, businesses with fewer than 50 employees lost 91,000 jobs, while larger businesses added 219,000. Job losses for businesses with less than 20 employees have now occurred for the fourth month in a row, the longest trend since 2019.

In May, service-provider employment increased by 104,000, with growth in education, health, and professional and business services. Since December 2020, the leisure and hospitality business has added the fewest jobs. Employment in the information industry has also decreased.


The number of people employed by goods producers climbed by 24,000, suggesting an increase in manufacturing but a decrease in construction jobs.

According to the Labor Department, unemployment insurance applications declined to 200,000 last week, according to a second figure released on Thursday.

The payroll data from ADP represents almost 26 million workers in the United States.

—With the help of Jordan Yadoo and Reade Pickert.

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