Economy Adds Lackluster 176,000 Jobs for August

The dog days of summer aren't quite over for employment. Nonfarm private employment increased by a seasonally adjusted 176,000 jobs for August according to ADP's National Employment Report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After increasing a revised 198,000 jobs for July, analysts had expected August's numbers to head lower, and their 177,000 estimate was essentially on the mark.

Human capital management company ADP partners with Moody's Analytics to produce this monthly report based on ADP payroll data representing 416,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 24 million workers in the U.S.

Source: Author, data from ADP

Small (1-49 workers) and medium (50-499) companies did the most for August employment, adding 71,000 and 74,000 jobs, respectively. However, large (500+) corporations failed to pull their weight, expanding employment by just 32,000.

The services sector packed the most punch, adding 165,000 jobs this past month. Goods-producing companies squeaked out 11,000 more jobs (half that of July), while manufacturing added 5,000, after dropping 5,000 the month the before.

According to Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, investors can breathe easier about Bernanke's latest moves and Obamacare:

It is steady as she goes in the job market. Job gains in August were consistent with increases experienced over the past two-plus years. There's little evidence that fiscal austerity and Health-Care Reform have had a significant impact on the job market.

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