Employers added 568,000 jobs in September, according to a report from private payroll firm ADP released on Wednesday.
The number was better than the 430,000 expected and follows the 374,000 created in August. Large companies and the service sector recorded the biggest gains, adding 390,000 and 466,000 jobs, respectively.
“The labor market recovery continues to make progress despite a marked slowdown from the 748,000 job pace in the second quarter,” ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson said in a statement. “Leisure and hospitality remains one of the biggest beneficiaries to the recovery yet hiring is still impacted by the trajectory of the pandemic, especially for small firms. Current bottlenecks in hiring should fade as the health conditions tied to the COVID-19 variant continue to improve, setting the stage for solid job gains in the coming months.”
The report is the first of three readings on the state of the job market this week, culminating Friday in the release of the monthly employment numbers from the Labor Department.
The job market has been uneven of late, with a disappointing 235,000 jobs created in August according to the official Department of Labor numbers. Economists are forecasting a bounceback in September, with around 470,000 jobs being created although some estimates are higher.
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The continued presence of the delta variant of the coronavirus has dampened hiring, as businesses have had to reinstitute restrictions such as social distancing, masking and vaccinations. Companies, meanwhile, continue to report difficulties filling the nearly 11 million job openings. Disruptions in the global supply chain are also causing some firms to curtail hiring.
“Among the other issues adding to uncertainty overall is the political bickering in Washington over suspending or boosting the federal debt ceiling,” Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said. “Inflation and political discord serve to undermine consumer and business confidence, with fading fiscal support from the federal government.”
“Beyond the horizon, further improvement in the economy and the job market are reasonable expectations over the coming year or so. As with so many storylines with the pandemic, it seems there are always a few unexpected, or even unprecedented, plot twists,” Hamrick added.