After reports showed that private companies in the U.S
. added only about 54,000 jobs, some industry watchers grew concerned that the nascent economic recovery could be sputtering, leading to a seemingly endless period of sustained joblessness. According to published reports, new data indicates that the U.S
. labor market improved significantly in June.
According to new data released by private payroll company ADP
, private companies in the U.S
. likely hired 157,000 workers in June. That figure is up markedly from the group's May report and reflects the relative strength of the labor economy, according to economists.
ADP's 157,000 projection
is more than double what the large majority of Wall Street analysts had predicted, according to MarketWatch
. Economists had previously forecast a gain of about 70,000 jobs, but the improving Japanese economy helped to drive demand for a number of industries, experts said.
While ADP's report is not always accurate, it often is in line with official government data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS
) routinely released monthly jobs data on the first Friday of every new month. Many analysts are anxiously awaiting the government's June report, which will be released Friday.
"A number like this, while it is just one month’s number, suggests that really maybe what happened [in May] was a pause in the economic expansion and that, as we head in summer months, we are going to pick up some momentum," Macroeconomic Advisers chairman Joel Prakken
said in an interview.
Still, with the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, U.S
. policymakers are scrambling to stimulate both the economy as a whole and the labor market. No U.S
. president has ever been reelected when the unemployment rate on Election Day registered higher than 7.2 percent. As President Obama guns for a second term, the historically high unemployment rate serves as a glaring smudge on his resume.
ADP data also indicates that job growth is heating up among U.S
. small businesses, which is music to the ears of economists as these companies have historically accounted for more than 70 percent of all new hiring following an economic contraction.
Bolstering analysts' hopes that the labor market is back on track was the U.S
. Labor Department, which said this week that unemployment claims in the week ending July 2 fell to 418,000. While that figure is still elevated, it is lower than during the depths of the recession and its aftermath.