Indicating a slower job growth in a tight labour market, private companies in the US added only 128,000 jobs in May, payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported.
“The job growth rate of hiring has tempered across all industries, while small businesses remain a source of concern as they struggle to keep up with larger firms that have been booming as of late,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP.
Large firms hired 122,000 workers, medium-sized businesses added 97,000, while small companies cut 91,000 employees, the report showed, indicating an unbalanced recovery across different company sizes.
In February and April, small companies also slashed jobs as large firms and medium-sized businesses saw payroll gains, Xinhua news agency quoted the report produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, as saying.
Small companies with fewer than 50 employees have lost nearly 300,000 jobs since February, as they have struggled to hire and retain workers who are looking for better pay and benefits in a tight market.
According to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)’s monthly jobs report also released on Thursday, the labour shortage continues to be a challenge for small businesses with 51 per cent (seasonally adjusted) of owners reporting job openings they could not fill in the current period, up four points from April.
The NFIB report said 23 per cent of owners reported labour quality was their top business problem, second to inflation, and 12 per cent cited labour costs as their top business problem.
Overall, companies are struggling to hire as labour market supply could not meet demand.
The number of job openings decreased by 455,000 to 11.4 million by the end of April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday.
The bureau’s monthly employment report, however, showed that the number of unemployed persons dropped slightly to 5.9 million in April, indicating there were approximately 1.9 job positions for every unemployed.
The ADP report also showed that the service sector saw a job gain of 104,000 in May, including 46,000 added in education and health services, while the goods-producing sector added 24,000 jobs.
The April total of jobs added in private companies was revised down from 247,000 to 202,000, according to the report.
The report came a day before the May employment report is to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government.