Company hiring hits lowest rate since summer

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Private payrolls grew at their slowest pace since July amid a deceleration in large business hiring for November, ADP’s monthly payrolls report said Wednesday.

Companies hired 307,000 workers last month, well below the 475,000 estimate from a Dow Jones survey of economists.

The total represented a decline from the upwardly revised 404,000 in October and is the smallest gain since the 216,000 increase in July, according to the report, which is compiled in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics.

The revision added 39,000 to the original estimate from October, making the November miss not as bad as it appears. Markets had little reaction to the report.

“We expected a much weaker number, so this is something of a relief,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

In fact, Shepherdson said the ADP number, which has often underestimated the government’s nonfarm payroll count through the pandemic, is consistent with a total around 700,000-750,000 for November.

The Labor Department on Friday is expected to report that the economy in November added 440,000 jobs, down from the 638,000 in October. Private payrolls are estimated to grow by 590,000, according to FactSet, with a decline of about 93,000 Census workers during the department’s survey period subtracting from the headline number.

The Dow Jones estimate also sees a 6.7% unemployment rate, down from 6.9%.

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