The pace of hiring at U.S. companies picked up in May, though the 133,000 jobs created this month came in shy of analysts’ expectations, data from a payrolls processor showed on Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 148,000 jobs. April’s figure was revised down slightly to an increase of 113,000 from the previously reported 119,000.
The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
“Recent data hasn’t been great, and while this isn’t a horrible number, it shows we’re in a lackluster period in the economy right now,” said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York.
U.S. stock index futures trimmed gains immediately after the data, while the dollar held losses against the euro and yen.
The ADP figures come ahead of the government’s much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
That report is expected to show a gain of 150,000 overall nonfarm payrolls in May, and a rise in private payrolls of 160,000.
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.