Job growth in January was stronger than consensus forecasts, according to the latest report from ADP and Moody’s Analytics. U.S. businesses added a total of 246,000 new workers last month, a figure that’s about 80,000 higher than most economists predicted. January, ADP said, was also the best single-month job performance since June 2016. “The U.S. labor market is hitting on all cylinders and we saw small and mid-sized businesses perform exceptionally well,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, in a statement.
Goods-producing companies hired 46,000 workers, the highest amount in two years. Construction jobs added 25,000 positions, manufacturing got a 15,000-worker boost and the natural resources and mining sector contributed another 6,000 to its ranks. Overall, mid-sized firms with 50-499 workers fared best, adding 102,000 workers. Small businesses took on 62,000, and large companies hired 83,000.
The numbers matched a trend of increased hiring in the promotional products industry, according to several execs. Tad Webster, president and managing director at Brandinc U.S. (asi/145212), says his company is adding sales, sales support and admin positions. “We have had phenomenal growth again last year, and the trend continues,” he said. “We are targeting specific industries and see a very robust economy with promotional merchandising and swag spend.”
Brand Fuel (asi/145025) is also hiring, both in its sales and online store departments, according to Danny Rosin, co-president. “We are responding to decision-makers who have an appetite for increased efficiency and 24/7 access to consistently branded merchandise for their stakeholders,” he said.
While ADP and Moody’s data is closely watched, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the official U.S. jobs report on Friday.