January was the second straight month in which the total number of private sector jobs added declined from the previous month. November saw private sector job gains totaling 274,000, a number which dropped to 253,000 in December and down to 213,000 for January. Still, January was the fifth consecutive month and the ninth in the last 10 in which private sector payroll increases totaled more than 200,000.
"January marks another month of solid job gains and is in line with the NER (National Employment Report)’s twelve-month average of over 200,000 jobs added per month,” said Carlos Rodriguez, President and CEO of ADP.
Employment gains for small businesses, those with one to 49 employees, was way down from December to January (115,000 down to 78,000). Large companies, those with 500 or more employees, also saw a decline in the number of payrolls added, from 61,000 down to 40,000. The only segment that saw a month-over-month increase was medium businesses, where the number of jobs added jumped from 78,000 in December up to 95,000 in January.
"Employment posted another solid gain in January, although the pace of growth is slower than in recent months," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. "Businesses in the energy and supplying industries are already scaling back payrolls in reaction to the collapse in oil prices, while industries benefiting from the lower prices have been slower to increase their hiring. All indications are that the job market will continue to improve in 2015."
The number of jobs added in both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors declined from December to January. For the goods-producing sector, 31,000 jobs were added in January, compared to 47,000 in December. For the service-providing sector, payrolls increased by 183,000 in January, compared to 207,000 in December. One area in which the number of jobs added rose sharply from December to January was trade/transportation/utilities, where payrolls increased by 54,000 in January compared to 40,000 in December.