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U.S. added nearly 2.4 million private-sector jobs in June, ADP reports

The leisure and hospitality sector powered the gains, adding 961,000 to their payrolls, new data shows

A sign outside a Seattle business in early June. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
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Private payrolls expanded in June as pandemic stay-at-home orders lifted and employees returned to work, rebounding from a troubling drop in May, according to data released Wednesday.

According to payroll services firm ADP, the nation’s private employers expanded by more than 2.37 million positions in June. It also revised its May figures to show a net gain of 3.1 million jobs instead of the loss of 2.76 million reported last month.

Still, the gains are tenuous — stores, restaurants and other businesses that were allowed to reopen weeks ago are shutting down as coronavirus infections spike, leading to new layoffs. California, Florida and Texas have implemented new policies that partly restrict restaurant or bar service, and at least nine other states have postponed or slowed reopening plans.

Workers are getting laid off for a second time, as the virus’s surge puts reopenings on hold

The monthly ADP report, produced in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, noted that small businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees) added 937,000 jobs. Franchises saw a 4,500-job increase, with growth at restaurants, auto dealers and parts sellers and declines in food retailers, business services, accommodations and real estate.

“Small business hiring picked up in the month of June,” Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a release. “As the economy slowly continues to recover, we are seeing a significant rebound in industries that once experienced the greatest job losses. In fact, 70 percent of the jobs added this month were in the leisure and hospitality, trade and construction industries.”

Leisure and hospitality made the biggest gains, filling 961,000 positions, a significant comeback after the industry took major hits with limits on travel. The construction industry also increased by 394,000 jobs. Only two of the 10 industry categories recorded declines: Natural resources and mining shed 26,000 jobs, and information lost 50,000 jobs.

The ADP numbers come just ahead of two key employment measures. The Labor Department’s June jobs report, which tallies private- and public-sector employment, will be released Thursday, a day earlier than usual because of the shortened holiday week. The May report was surprisingly positive, with the official rate settling at 13.3 percent after hitting 14.7 percent in April.

The agency will also release the weekly jobless-claims data. Nearly 1.5 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the pandemic recession total to more than 47.3 million.