by Frederick H. Lowe, The NorthStar News & Analysis
The nation’s businesses added 215,000 jobs in December, but African Americans won’t know until Friday whether the higher job numbers reduced the nation’s black unemployment rate.
Automatic Data Processing and Moody’s Analytics said on Thursday in their ADP National Employment Report for December that small businesses added 25,000 jobs; medium businesses added 102,000 jobs and large companies added 87,000 jobs.
Automatic Data Processing, a Roseland, N.J.-based payroll processor, defined small business as employing 20 to 49 workers. A medium-sized company employs 50 to 499 workers, and a large company employs 500 to more than 1,000 workers.
By sector, service providers added 187,000 jobs in December, compared with the goods producers that added 28,000 jobs.
The construction industry added 39,000 jobs; trade/transportation/utilities added 53,000 jobs; financial services added 14,000 jobs and professional-business services added 37,000 jobs. Manufacturing, however, lost 11,000 jobs.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said the devastation along the East Coast caused by Hurricane Sandy boosted the construction industry.
“The job market held firm in December despite the intensifying fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington. Businesses even became somewhat more aggressive in hiring at year end,” Zandi said. Carlos A. Rodriguez, president and CEO of ADP, said businesses have added 1.7 million jobs in the past year and that December’s jobs growth was the largest since February 2012.
ADP and Moody’s Analytics publishes its jobs report the day before the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its closely watched jobs and employment report.
ADP’s and BLS’ jobs numbers almost never match, and economists place more weight with BLS because they understand how officials reached their conclusions.
The BLS, however, will show whether December’s growth in jobs reduced the nation’s black unemployment rate, which was a seasonally adjusted 13.2 percent in November, compared with 6.2 percent for whites and 10 percent for Hispanics.
The jobless rate for black men 20 years old and older was 13 percent in November, and for black women in the same age group, it was 11.4 percent.
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