In Spite Coronavirus Fears, February Saw an Increase in Private Sector Employment

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In spite of a worldwide concern over the spreading Coronavirus, February was a surprisingly good month for employment.  The following is a statement from ADP:

“Private sector employment increased by 183,000 jobs from January to February according to the February ADP National Employment Report.  Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.  The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.”

“February 2020 Report Highlights*”

View the ADP National Employment Report Infographic at

Total U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment:     183,000

By Company Size

– Small businesses:      24,000

  • 1-19 employees      8,000
  • 20-49 employees      16,000

– Medium businesses:      26,000

  • 50-499 employees      26,000

– Large businesses:      133,000

  • 500-999 employees      5,000
  • 1,000+ employees      128,000

By Sector

– Goods-producing:      11,000

  • Natural resources/mining      -3,000
  • Construction      18,000
  • Manufacturing      -4,000

– Service-providing:      172,000

  • Trade/transportation/utilities      31,000
  • Information      -2,000
  • Financial activities      9,000
  • Professional/business services      38,000
         – Professional/technical services      12,000
         – Management of
           companies/enterprises      1,000
         – Administrative/support services      25,000
  • Education/health services      46,000
         – Health care/social assistance      43,000
         – Education      2,000
  • Leisure/hospitality      44,000
  • Other services      7,000

* Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding.

– Franchise Employment**

  • Franchise jobs     20,800

**Complete details on franchise employment can be found here.

“The labor market remains firm, as private-sector payrolls continued to expand in February,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Job creation remained heavily concentrated in large companies, which continue to be the strongest performer.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “COVID-19 will need to break through the job market firewall if it is to do significant damage to the economy. The firewall has some cracks, but judging by the February employment gain it should be strong enough to weather most scenarios.”

The matched sample used to develop the ADP National Employment Report was derived from ADP payroll data, which represents 460,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 26 million workers in the U.S.  The January total of jobs added was revised down from 291,000 to 209,000.

In February’s report, the following scheduled annual revisions have been reflected in the estimates of employment shown in the ADP National Employment Report:

  • Adjustments of historical job growth estimates consistent with Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data through March 2019 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmarking process.
  • Incorporation of March 2019 industry and size class data from the QCEW in the generation process.

Beginning with its March 4, 2020 report, the ADP National Employment Report’s methodology was updated. To reference, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions document.

To obtain additional information about the ADP National Employment Report, including additional charts, supporting data and the schedule of future release dates, or to subscribe to the monthly email alerts and RSS feeds, please visit

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