WASHINGTON — Private businesses hired new workers at a surprisingly energetic pace in December, according to a widely tracked job-tracking report released on Wednesday.
The ADP National Employment Report showed that private-sector employment rose by 297,000 in December. That's the highest monthly gain since the report's inception in 2000, and it's double or triple what was expected by mainstream economists.
Most important, job gains that high are what's needed to knock down the stubbornly high unemployment rate, which has been stuck at just under 10 percent for more than a year. Currently it's at 9.8 percent, with a new official BLS report on December employment due on Friday.
The new data suggest that last month's disappointing official jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may have been flawed, or at least a pothole on the road to recovery. Combined with several other recent positive indicators, the evidence that the economic recovery is strengthening appears to be mounting.
"This kind of number crosses a threshold in terms of its importance to the economy, the importance to the unemployment rate. More importantly, it's a strong enough number that you can start thinking about the virtuous cycle between employment and growth," Joel Prakken, the chairman of forecaster Macroeconomic Advisers, a co-creator of the monthly report, said in an interview.
The ADP doesn't always track well with the BLS numbers, but if the ADP numbers are close to accurate, things COULD be turning around in the job market.
At least for the private sector.
For those of us in the public sector, dunno if you heard, but WE'RE the REASON why the economy tanked and we must take layoffs, salary freezes, salary cuts, benefit cuts and pension cuts in order to make these a'right again.
So things are going to get worse for public sector workers for a long, long time to come.
Just ask Little Andy.