There’s more evidence that the job market may be loosening up — and snagging the best candidates could get even more difficult than it is today.
Non-farm private employment grew very strongly in December, at a pace well above what is usually associated with a declining unemployment rate, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
Employment increased by 297,000 from November to December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the report said.
Employment in the service sector rose by 270,000 in December, the eleventh consecutive monthly gain and the largest monthly increase in the history of the ADP report.
Employment in the goods-producing sector rose 27,000, the second consecutive monthly gain and the largest since February 2006.
Manufacturing employment rose 23,000, also the second consecutive monthly gain.
The little guys lead the way
As usual, small business carried the biggest part of the load in December’s hiring increase:
- Employment among large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, increased by 36,000
- Medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and
499 workers, added 144,000 workers, and
- Small businesses — those with fewer than 50 workers — added 117,000 employees.
The ADP’s report is certainly encouraging in the big picture. But the downside may well be that you won’t have as large a pool of people to pick from when you’re looking to fill key openings.