The U.S. economy added more than half a million new private sector jobs last month as big companies such as Amazon and Walmart boost hiring and workers return to the labor market following the expiration of unemployment benefits.
Payroll processing group ADP said in its National Employment Report, which it compiles with Moody's Analytics, that private sector jobs grew by 568,000 in September, well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of a 428,000 total, as blue-chip companies such as Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report and Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report ramp-up hiring plans into the holiday season. The final reading for August, however, was revised lower by 34,000 positions to 340,000.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish its official nonfarm payroll report Friday, with economists looking for a headline total that represents around 475,000 new jobs, a rebound from the disappointing tally of 235,000 in the month of August.
"The labor market recovery continues to make progress despite a marked slowdown from the 748,000 job pace in the second quarter," said Nela Richardson, ADP's chief economist. "Leisure and hospitality remains one of the biggest beneficiaries to the recovery, yet hiring is still heavily 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," she added.
U.S. equity futures were modestly firmer following the data release, with contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicating an opening bell decline of 300 points and those linked to the S&P 500 priced for a 47 point decline from last night'sclose.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields, meanwhile, ticked higher, to 1.551%, while the dollar index gained 0.3% against a basket of its global peers to trade at 94.32.