Closing The Books on 2020 Didn’t Close The Books

ADP let the cat of the bag on Wednesday when the payroll processing provider announced it believed the level of private employment had declined in December 2020. Since it wasn’t likely to have been wildly inaccurate, it set the stage for a renewed negative number in the main government payroll report released today.

According to those BLS’s Current Employment Statistics (CES), the Establishment Survey did indeed fall. During the month of December, the agency believes that somewhere around 140k payrolls had been lost, about 95k of which were in the private sector.

With renewed COVID restrictions (overreactions) being set in place, the majority of any job losses was predictably concentrated in the leisure and hospitality industry. Closing and constraining the activity at more bars, restaurants, and tourism destinations led to just less than half a million fewer payrolls. While this wasn’t surprising, it also isn’t the major takeaway. Read more…..


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