US: ADP Employment Report

Wed Jan 31 07:15:00 CST 2018

Consensus Consensus Range Actual Previous Revised
ADP employment 195,000 160,000 to 235,000 234,000 250,000 242,000

ADP sees a very strong employment report coming out on Friday, estimating a 234,000 rise in private payrolls. ADP has been running above actual government data which is reflected in the difference in Econoday's consensus calls for each, at 195,000 for today's ADP report and 172,000 for Friday's report. But the bottom line is that ADP, however hit and miss this report can be, sees significant strength for the January employment report.

Market Consensus Before Announcement
ADP is always hit and miss and December's call unfortunately was definitely a miss, at an accelerating gain of 250,000 for private payroll growth vs an actual 146,000 and a sharply decelerating gain. The consensus for ADP's private payroll call for January is 195,000.

The ADP national employment report is computed from a subset of ADP records that represent approximately 400,000 U.S. business clients and approximately 23 million U.S. employees working in all private industrial sectors. ADP contracted with Moody's Analytics to compute a monthly report that would ultimately help to predict monthly nonfarm payrolls from the Bureau of Labor Statistic's employment situation. The ADP report only covers private (excluding government) payrolls.

Market players have become accustomed to the excitement on employment Friday and realize the rich detail of the monthly employment situation can help set the tone for the entire month. While economists have certainly improved their nonfarm payroll forecasts over the years, it is not unusual to see surprises on employment Friday. To that end, the new ADP national employment report can help improve the payroll forecast by providing information in advance of the employment report.

The employment statistics also provide insight on wage trends, and wage inflation is high on the list of enemies for the Federal Reserve. Fed officials constantly monitor this data watching for even the smallest signs of potential inflationary pressures, even when economic conditions are soggy. If inflation is under control, it is easier for the Fed to maintain a more accommodative monetary policy. If inflation is a problem, the Fed is limited in providing economic stimulus. The ADP national employment report does not yet have wage information, but their goal is to provide wage information, along with industry and regional information as well.

By tracking jobs, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise; bond and stock prices will fall. No doubt that the only investors in a good mood will be the ones who watched the employment report and adjusted their portfolios to anticipate these events. In contrast, when job growth is slow or negative, then interest rates are likely to decline - boosting up bond and stock prices in the process.