This was far better than expected and indeed outside of the range of estimates. Economists had estimated the ADP private payrolls figure to show a loss of between 3.3 million and 11 million, according to Econoday. The median estimate was for a loss of 8.6 million jobs.
April’s payroll figure was revised to show a smaller job loss, 19.6 million instead of the earlier reported 20.2 million.
The report suggests the labor market may be healthier than it has looked to many economists. It is possible that businesses kept many workers on in anticipation of reopening in May or hired workers back.
It is also possible that the ADP report may not be accurate in these wild times. In the past, it has missed some big shifts in the economy.