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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ADP: Jobs Up 209,000 for March 2012

What do those ADP jobs numbers mean?

The private payroll processing firm, ADP, released its monthly jobs numbers for March 2012, this morning, showing a solid increase of 209,000 jobs from February to March.




How many private sector jobs are there?

They estimate that there are 110,481,000 private-sector jobs in the U.S. during the payroll processing week which includes March 12, 2012.  This is the same timeframe that the government BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) uses to determine its monthly jobs (establishment) numbers.  As mentioned above, this shows an increase of 209,000 jobs from February to March.

The ADP number correlates to the number of non-farm private sector jobs that is put out by the BLS.  It usually appears two days before the BLS reports, and, while not exactly the same as the BLS numbers, it is usually a good harbinger of what those BLS monthly jobs will show.  The BLS private sector job estimates have been running about 400,000 to 500,000 more than the ADP job estimates, but the increase over the past year to two years has been about the same.  The ADP report shows an increase of 905,000 between October 2011 and February 2012, while the BLS shows an increase of 930,000 jobs between October 2011 and February 2012.

The ADP report, completely private and separate from those government numbers, provides a good reply to people who are convinced that the government is somehow "cooking the books" when jobs/employment numbers show improvement.  Unless those people are going to claim that ADP, the federal BLS, and the states, even the Republican states, (from where many employment/unemployment numbers originate), are somehow all in cahoots to fool the American public. .... which some will say is happening... it doesn't seem as though any book cooking can be happening.

ADP numbers compared and contrasted with the BLS numbers

So here's the ADP private non-farm jobs numbers contrasted with the BLS private non-farm jobs numbers over the past several months:


  • Nov 2011: ADP-  109,593,000  (+226,000)   BLS-  109,959,000 (+178,000) 
  • Dec 2011: ADP-  109,860,000  (+267,000)   BLS-  110,193,000 (+234,000)
  • Jan  2012: ADP-  110,042,000  (+182,000)   BLS-  110,478,000 (+285,000)
  • Feb 2012: ADP-  110,272,000  (+230,000)   BLS-  110,711,000 (+233,000)
  • Mar 2012: ADP-   110,481,000  (+209,000)  BLS-  To be released Friday               

Other observations from the ADP report:


  • Most of the job growth has occurred in the small (1-49 employees) service providing job sector.
  • ADP estimates an additional 23,000 jobs in manufacturing.

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