U.S. private employers added 213,000 jobs in January, falling short of the median forecasts, and leading to some concerns about the pace of job growth. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The weather isn't the only thing that continues to be chilly in the U.S. There are signs the pace of job growth is beginning to cool as well. New data from private payroll processor ADP showing the U.S. economy added 213,000 private jobs in January, falling short of forecasts. Ahead of Friday's government monthly jobs report, it has economists, like UBS' Kevin Cummins, taking note: SOUNDBITE: KEVIN CUMMINS, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, UBS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We did see GDP growth slowing in the fourth quarter to 2.6 percent annualized rate after about four and a half to five percent GDP in the mid-year. So, it is consistent with some slowing heading into the end of the year, and we expect that to spill over a little bit into the beginning of this year with regards to job growth." Cummins is expecting to see non-farm payrolls of 200,000 for January, a bit more pessimistic than the Reuters overall consensus forecast of 234,000. The collapse in oil prices has raised concerns about jobs in that sector. But Jim Glassman, head economist for Chase Commercial Bank says, those fears may be overblown, given the benefits to the overall economy: SOUNDBITE: JIM GLASSMAN, HEAD ECONOMIST, CHASE COMMERCIAL BANK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The job losses we may see them for a few months in the energy sector. There's not a lot of jobs in there, but, I think, down the road, what we are going to see is the net benefit from the decline in oil prices is much greater than the restraint on the energy sector. So, for the U.S. economy, for the consumer sector, for the business community, which sees its costs go down, the airline industry, there are lots of benefits that come from lower energy prices." The other trend to watch - how much people are getting paid. SOUNDBITE: KEVIN CUMMINS, SENIOR U.S. ECONOMIST, UBS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We are probably on the cusp of seeing a little bit of wage pressures. If you listen to some of the anecdotal information from the NFIB small business optimism index, you are starting to get reports of increased compensation. It just hasn't spilled over yet so far to the government data on average hourly earnings or the employment cost index." Also adding to the likelihood of at least slightly higher pay for workers: new minimum wage levels that were put in place in a number of states at the beginning of this year.