Washington (AFP) - US private employment continued to grow in November albeit at a slower-than-anticipated rate, according to private data released Wednesday, raising fears the US economy's momentum was slowing amid the renewed Covid-19 wave.
Payroll services firm ADP said private jobs rose 307,000 last month, seasonally adjusted, with firms of all sizes showing increases, though that gain was slower than October's upwardly revised gain of 404,000.
The US economy has been recovering from mass layoffs earlier this year caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but those gains were fueled in part by easing of business restrictions as well as massive spending by Congress.
Many of those federal programs have lapsed while virus cases are surging across the United States to levels not seen since the start of the outbreak.
That has raised fears that the government's key November employment report to be released Friday will show a retreat in hiring.
The ADP report is seen as an imperfect preview of the official data, and Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said it was a relief the report wasn't worse.
"We expected a much weaker number," he said.
The ADP data showed service sector jobs led the November increase with 276,000 positions added, particularly in leisure and hospitality, the sector that has borne the brunt of the layoffs. However, that increase was the slowest since June.
The goods-producing sector added only 30,000 jobs, the majority of which was in construction.
The biggest job gains came in midsized businesses of between 50 and 499 employees, followed by small businesses coming in second.