The drop was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 61,000 decrease the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed. ADP figures overstated the Labor Department’s estimate of private payroll losses by 500,000 in the six months to December.
Today’s ADP report showed a decrease of 60,000 workers in goods-producing industries including manufacturers and construction companies. Service providers added 38,000 workers, the second consecutive increase.
Employment in construction fell by 37,000, while factories cut 25,000 jobs, ADP said.
Companies employing more than 499 workers shrank their workforce by 19,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, added 9,000 jobs and small companies decreased payrolls by 12,000, ADP said.
The Labor Department’s report in two days is also forecast to show the unemployment held at 10 percent in January for a third straight month.
The economy has lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, the most of any downturn in the post- World War II era.
ADP includes only private employment and doesn’t take into account hiring by government agencies. Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis produces the report jointly with ADP. The ADP report is based on data from about 360,000 businesses with at least 22 million workers on payrolls. ADP began keeping records in January 2001 and started publishing its numbers in 2006.