The stock market has been up so far in September, a somewhat unusual event for the weakest month in stocks. The optimism is propelled largely by decent news on jobs, with weekly initial unemployment claims dropping to their lowest level since 2008 at 323k. But the big news was the ADP Employment Report, which came in at 176k jobs gained in August. Investors are still watching for the official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on Friday – but they don’t need to.
What is this ADP Employment Report, and what does it mean? It’s actually the best barometer of where we are, if not the official one, and it comes with a lot of useful information that can’t be found anywhere else. Since we’ve dissected the official BLS report it’s time to take a good look at the ADP numbers – and why they are in many ways much more interesting.