|On Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release the monthly jobs report for July. The payroll company ADP releases its payroll report the Wednesday before. This report can serve as a barometer of what to expect on Friday, but it doesn’t always jibe with the BLS number.
By the numbers: ADP finds that payrolls increased only 330,000 in July. This is well below the 680,000 jobs ADP reported the economy added in June. The ADP payroll number remains 6.5 million below its February 2020 level.
It’s hard to say what this means for Friday’s BLS jobs report. There are usually big differences between the two reports. For instance, BLS found the economy added 850,000 jobs in June while ADP says it added 680,000. This is to be expected. They measure different things and use different methods.
The reports usually point in the same direction though, meaning they generally agree that the economy added or subtracted jobs in a given month. That probably means the economy added jobs in July, which most expect, but potentially at a slower pace in than in June.
What others think: A Reuters survey of economists finds an average expectation of 750,000, which would be consistent with growth at a slower pace than June. Others see job growth eclipsing the June figure though.
Bottom line: The jobs report is always a much-anticipated event. As the economy continues its recovery amidst bumps in the road from COVID it is even more of an event. No matter the Friday BLS number, we will get the latest snapshot of where we stand in getting Americans off the sidelines and back into the labor market. We’ll report on that and the job openings data early next week.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce