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Companies Add Fewest U.S. Workers in Nearly a Year

Companies added the fewest number of workers in nearly a year in September, reflecting a hit to the U.S. job market from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, according to new data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey.

Companies Add Fewest U.S. Workers in Nearly a Year

Private payrolls rose by 135,000, matching the estimate, the smallest gain since October 2016, after a revised 228,000 increase in August. Payrolls in goods-producing industries, which include builders and manufacturers, rose 48,000, while service providers added 88,000 workers, also the fewest in 11 months. Hurricanes led to a decrease in net hiring at small companies, ADP says

The report is the latest to show economic data are being affected by the tropical storms. The swings could continue in the coming months, following the pattern seen after major weather events such as superstorm Sandy in the Northeast in 2012.

Excluding the impact of the weather, the labor market continues to make progress, helping to underpin consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. At the same time, employers face the challenge of finding skilled workers as the job market is tightening.

Economist Views

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma hurt the job market in September,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Looking through the storms, the job market remains sturdy and strong.”

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