The numbers: The pace of U.S. private sector job growth slowed in July, perhaps as a result of the rising coronavirus infection rate. Private-sector employment rose 167,000 jobs in July, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported Wednesday. The gain was well below forecasts from economists surveyed by Econoday who expected a gain of 1.9 million jobs. Job gains totaled 4.3 million in June and 3.3 million in May after a loss of 19.4 million in April, according to ADP data.
What happened: Goods producers added only 1,000 jobs last month, while services producers added 166,000.
By company size, there were private-sector-job gains in July of 63,000 at small employers, and 129,000 at large employers. Medium-sized employers lost 25,000 jobs.
Big picture: Economists use ADP data to get an indication of the Labor Department’s employment monthly report, which will be released Friday and covers government jobs in addition to the private sector. The signals from ADP has been distorted during the pandemic. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the government’s report to show that nonfarm employment rose by 1.75 million jobs last month, compared with a June gain of 4.8 million and an increase of 2.7 million in May. ADP missed the May increase and fell short for the June gain. The unemployment rate in June was 11.1%, down from a postwar high of 14.7% in April.
Market reaction: Stocks were set to open higher on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial DJIA, +0.61% rose 189 points on Tuesday.