General Business

Private Sector Employment Decreased by 2,760,000 Jobs in May

The May NER Utilizes Data Through May 12 and Does Not Reflect the Full Impact of COVID-19 on the Overall Employment Situation

Private sector employment decreased by 2,760,000 jobs from April to May according to the May ADP National Employment Report.  The report utilizes data through the 12th of the month.  The NER uses the same time period the Bureau of Labor and Statistics uses for their survey.  As such, the May NER does not reflect the full impact of COVID-19 on the overall employment situation.

Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.  The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

May 2020 Report Highlights*

View the ADP National Employment Report Infographic at

Total U.S. Nonfarm Private Employment:     -2,760,000

By Company Size

– Small businesses:     -435,000

  • 1-19 employees -253,000
  • 20-49 employees -182,000

– Medium businesses:     -722,000

  • 50-499 employees -722,000

– Large businesses:     -1,604,000

  • 500-999 employees -272,000
  • 1,000+ employees -1,332,000

By Sector

– Goods-producing:     -794,000

  • Natural resources/mining -52,000
  • Construction -22,000
  • Manufacturing -719,000

– Service-providing:     -1,967,000

  • Trade/transportation/utilities -826,000
  • Information -115,000
  • Financial activities -196,000
  • Professional/business services -250,000
    – Professional/technical services     -221,000
    – Management of companies/enterprises     -70,000
    – Administrative/support services     40,000
  • Education/health services -168,000
    – Health care/social assistance     -333,000
    – Education     166,000
  • Leisure/hospitality     -105,000
  • Other services     -307,000

* Sum of components may not equal total, due to rounding.

– Franchise Employment**

  • Franchise jobs -254,100

**Complete details on franchise employment can be found here.

“The impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to weigh on businesses of all sizes,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “While the labor market is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, job loss likely peaked in April, as many states have begun a phased reopening of businesses.”

The matched sample used to develop the ADP National Employment Report was derived from ADP payroll data, which represents 460,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 26 million workers in the U.S.  The April total of jobs lost was revised from -20,236,000  to -19,557,000.

To obtain additional information about the ADP National Employment Report, including additional charts, supporting data and the schedule of future release dates, or to subscribe to the monthly email alerts and RSS feeds, please visit

The June 2020 ADP National Employment Report will be released at 8:15 a.m. ET on July 1.

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