US companies added more jobs than expected in June, with the private sector hiring 692,000 workers, according to a report published Wednesday by payroll processing firm ADP.
The gain was well above the 550,000 new jobs expected to be added by economists surveyed by Dow Jones — but was a steep decline from the 886,000 jobs added in May, according to the revised figures released Wednesday.
“The labor market recovery remains robust, with June closing out a strong second quarter of jobs growth,” Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist, said in a statement.
“While payrolls are still nearly 7 million short of pre-COVID-19 levels, job gains have totaled about 3 million since the beginning of 2021.”
Encouragingly, the leisure and hospitality sector — the industry hardest hit by the pandemic and subsequent government restrictions — saw the most jobs added this month. The sector added 332,000 new jobs in June, ADP reported.
The education and health services sector added 123,000 jobs, with most coming from health care.
Meanwhile, trade, transportation and utilities picked up 62,000 new workers and professional and business services added 53,000 new hires.
Construction added 47,000 new workers while manufacturing saw gains of 19,000 for the month.
“Service providers, the hardest hit sector, continue to do the heavy lifting, with leisure and hospitality posting the strongest gain as businesses begin to reopen to full capacity across the country,” ADP’s Richardson said.
ADP’s private payroll figures could bode well for the closely watched June jobs report, which is slated to be published Friday morning.
While the two reports often align, they can occasionally differ widely. For the past two months, for example, the ADP report has offered much higher numbers than the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect a total increase of 706,000, up from 559,000 in May. The unemployment rate is expected to drop to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent.