Private payrolls increase by 125,000 in October, topping expectations

Key Points
  • Companies hired 125,000 employees in October, data released Wednesday by ADP and Moody's Analytics showed.
  • Economists polled by Dow Jones expected an increase of 100,000 payrolls.
  • Medium-sized businesses, those employing 50 to 499 people, led the pace of hiring, expanding by 64,000.
  • However, September payrolls were revised down by 42,000, to 93,000.
ADP: October payrolls up 125,000, September revised down by 42,000

Private payrolls grew at a faster-than-expected pace in October, but the solid growth was offset by a sharp downward revision for the previous month, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Companies hired 125,000 employees in October, according to ADP and Moody's Analytics, 25,000 more than expected by economists polled by Dow Jones.

Medium-size businesses, those employing 50 to 499 people, led the pace, hiring 64,000 people. Large businesses added 44,000 jobs while small businesses saw jobs expansion of 17,000.

Payrolls within the services sector increased by 138,000 this month, led by a 41,000 increase in the education and health services space. Trade, transportation and utilities businesses added 32,000 payrolls.

However, payrolls in goods-production businesses decreased by 13,000 in October.

September payrolls were also revised down 93,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the ADP/Moody's Analytics survey on Oct. 2.

"Job growth has throttled way back over the past year," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "The job slowdown is most pronounced at manufacturers and small companies. If hiring weakens any further, unemployment will begin to rise."

Wednesday's data will be used by investors as a preview for the government's October jobs report, which is set for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

ADP and Moody's Analytics' report also comes ahead of a key Federal Reserve announcement later on Wednesday. The central bank is largely expected to cut rates by 25 basis points. That would be the third Fed rate cut of 2019.

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Key Points
  • Economic activity in the U.S. grew at an annualized rate of 1.9% in the third quarter, down slightly from the 2% pace in the second quarter.
  • Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected the first look at third-quarter growth to come in at 1.6%.
  • The better-than-expected data was the result of continued consumer spending as well as government expenditures, the Commerce Department says.