UK Markets closed

US private hiring posts surprise uptick in October: survey

Private US companies hired more workers than expected in October, as restaurants and retailers stepped up hiring ahead of the festive season, according to data from payroll firm ADP Wednesday.

Firms added 239,000 jobs in October, up from 192,000 in the prior month, the report said, with the impact of the Federal Reserve's aggressive policy limited to only some sectors.

The central bank has been ramping up interest rates to cool demand and fight surging inflation, amid fears the strong labor market will cause a wage spiral.

The Fed is widely expected to press on with a fourth straight steep rate hike on Wednesday.

"This is a really strong number given the maturity of the economic recovery but the hiring was not broad-based," said ADP chief economist Nela Richardson.

There has been a pullback among goods producers, who are sensitive to interest rates, while workers who changed jobs are getting smaller pay gains than previously, Richardson said in a statement.

The impact hit manufacturing in particular, which lost 20,000 positions last month, according to the report.

"While we're seeing early signs of Fed-driven demand destruction, it's affecting only certain sectors of the labor market," she said.

Workers saw their annual pay gains ease slightly to 7.7 percent, according to ADP's recently revamped report, which includes wage data.

Employees who changed jobs still saw "double-digit, year-over-year pay increases, but momentum in those gains is ebbing," the report said.

For this group, annual pay growth dropped for a third straight month, to 15.2 percent in October from 15.7 in September.

"Overall, the labor market remains tight and demand is showing few signs of cooling," said economist Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics.

"We expect job growth to remain positive for now. But the pace is expected to slow in response to Fed rates hikes," she added.