Private sector job losses at their lowest for a year

In August, the US private sector erased 298,000 jobs, more than the 250,000 expected, but the smallest number since September 2008. Analysts have warned that employment is still likely to decline despite the economy stabilising.


AFP - The US private sector shed the smallest number of jobs in nearly a year, erasing 298,000 jobs in August as the country emerges from a severe recession, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday.

The August figure for nonfarm private employment on a seasonally adjusted basis was slightly higher than the 250,000 expected by most analysts.

The ADP said while the number of jobs was still expected to decline as the world's largest economy pulls out of prolonged contraction, "employment losses are clearly diminishing.

"Despite recent indications that overall economic activity is stabilizing,  employment, which usually trails overall economic activity, is still likely to decline for at least several more months, albeit at a diminishing rate," the ADP national employment report said.

It pointed out that August’s employment decline was "the smallest since September of 2008."

ADP also revised lower the estimated change of employment from June to July by 11,000, from a decline of 371,000 to a decline of 360,000.

Employment in the service-providing sector fell by 146,000 in August while that in the goods-producing sector declined 152,000 and in the manufacturing sector by 74,000, its smallest monthly decline since July of 2008.

Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline by 60,000, while medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 workers declined 116,000.

Employment among small-size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, fell 122,000.

The ADP figure came ahead of Friday's Labor Department official US unemployment rate.

The July jobless rate had fallen one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.4 percent on narrowing job losses but analysts say the rate could soar to about 10 percent by year-end, even with an improving economy.

According to the latest official data, the US economy contracted 1.0 percent in the second quarter, after a 6.4 percent contraction in the first quarter and a drop of 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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