The Reopening: ADP Says Private Payrolls Grew By 517,000 in March

Economists surveyed by Econoday had forecast job growth of 500,00, although estimates ranged from 225,000 to 750,000.

In March, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the restrictions on business in his state and ended its mask mandate. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis barred local governments from fining businesses for violations of local covid safety restrictions. Many other states have also eliminated or pared back restrictions placed on businesses during the pandemic.

The pandemic appears to have made it harder for ADP to measure job growth, perhaps because so much of the economy is responding to governmental restrictions.  Last year ADP’s estimates consistently failed to track job growth. And that has continued into this year. Last month, ADP said private payrolls grew by just 117,000. Government data released a few days later showed payrolls expanding by 465,000.

Goods-producing businesses added 80,000 jobs, including 49,000 in manufacturing. Construction added 32,000. Mining operations shed 1,000.

Services providers added 437,000 jobs, including 169,000 in leisure and hospitality. That is a strong indicator that the surge in hiring is related to the economy reopening and restrictions on businesses coming to an end.