“Our March payroll data is one of several signals that the economy is slowing,” said Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist. “Employers are pulling back from a year of strong hiring and pay growth, after a three-month plateau, is inching down.”
Most of the jobs added in March were in leisure/hospitality (+98,000), followed by notable job growth in trade/transportation/utilities (+56,000), construction (+53,000), and natural resources/mining (+47,000). The most significant decreases were in financial activities (-51,000), professional/business services (-46,000), manufacturing (-30,000).
Reversing February’s trend, employers of small firms (1-49 employees) added the most jobs in March at +101,000, while larger businesses either cut jobs (-42,000 for establishments with 250-499 employees) or scaled back on hiring (+10,000 for establishments with 500+ employees).
Annual pay growth continued to slow in March, decreasing to 6.9% for job stayers and 14.2% for job changers. Pay increases were highest in leisure/hospitality (9.6%) and natural resources/mining (7.3%), but both percentages were down from the previous month. Information (6.3%) and professional/business services (6.4%) again had the lowest pay growth. And pay increases by establishment size ranged from 5.5% (1-19 employees) to 7.2% (50-249 employees).