ADP National Employment Report: Private Sector Employment Increased by 164,000 Jobs in December; Annual Pay was Up 5.4%

Career Climbers / 5th January 2024

Private sector employment increased by 164,000 jobs in December, and annual pay was up 5.4 percent year-over-year, according to the December ADP® National Employment ReportTM produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab (“Stanford Lab“). The ADP National Employment Report is an independent measure and high-frequency view of the private-sector labor market based on actual, anonymized payroll data of more than 25 million U.S. employees.

The jobs report and pay insights use ADP’s fine-grained anonymized and aggregated payroll data to provide a representative picture of the private-sector labor market. The report details the current month’s total private employment change and weekly job data from the previous month. Because the underlying ADP payroll databases are continuously updated, the report provides a high-frequency, near-real-time measure of U.S. employment. This measure reflects the number of employees on ADP client payrolls (Payroll Employment) to provide a richer understanding of the labour market. ADP’s pay measure uniquely captures the earnings of a cohort of almost 10 million employees over a 12-month period.

“We’re returning to a labor market that’s very much aligned with pre-pandemic hiring,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP. “While wages didn’t drive the recent bout of inflation, now that pay growth has retreated, any risk of a wage-price spiral has all but disappeared.”

December 2023 Report Highlights*

View the ADP National Employment Report and interactive charts at


Private employers added 164,000 jobs in December
Job gains rose for the fourth straight month, led by a healthy bump in leisure and hospitality hiring. Construction held strong in the face of high interest rates, but manufacturing continued to struggle, notching another month of losses.

Change in U.S. Private Employment:     164,000

Change by Industry Sector

– Goods-producing:     9,000

  • Natural resources/mining  -2,000
  • Construction         24,000
  • Manufacturing     –13,000

– Service-providing:     155,000

  • Trade/transportation/utilities     15,000
  • Information  –2,000
  • Financial activities  18,000
  • Professional/business services  1,000
  • Education/health services  42,000
  • Leisure/hospitality  59,000
  • Other services  22,000

Change by U.S. Regions

– Northeast:     94,000

  • New England     28,000
  • Middle Atlantic   66,000

– Midwest:     -21,000

  • East North Central     –16,000
  • West North Central     –5,000

– South:     -7,000

  • South Atlantic     –3,000
  • East South Central  –6,000
  • West South Central  2,000

– West:     109,000

  • Mountain  29,000
  • Pacific      80,000

Change by Establishment Size

– Small establishments:     74,000

  • 1-19 employees     54,000
  • 20-49 employees   20,000

– Medium establishments:     53,000

  • 50-249 employees     58,000
  • 250-499 employees  –5,000

– Large establishments:     40,000

  • 500+ employees      40,000


Pay growth slowed in December
Pay for job-stayers rose 5.4 percent in December, slowing from 5.6 percent a month earlier and continuing a deceleration that began in September 2022.

Median Change in Annual Pay (ADP matched person sample)

– Job-Stayers      5.4%

– Job-Changers  8.0%

Median Change in Annual Pay for Job-Stayers by Industry Sector

– Goods-producing:                                                       

  • Natural resources/mining  4.9%
  • Construction     6.0%
  • Manufacturing  5.1%

– Service-providing:

  • Trade/transportation/utilities  5.2%
  • Information  4.8%
  • Financial activities  5.9%
  • Professional/business services  5.2%
  • Education/health services  5.9%
  • Leisure/hospitality  6.4%
  • Other services       5.6%

Median Change in Annual Pay for Job-Stayers by Firm Size

– Small firms:

  • 1-19 employees    4.6%
  • 20-49 employees  5.6%

– Medium firms:

  • 50-249 employees     5.7%
  • 250-499 employees   5.5%

– Large firms:

  • 500+ employees     5.4%

To see Pay Insights by U.S. State, Gender, and Age for Job-Stayers, visit here:

* Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding.

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