The 23,000 decline was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 24,000 drop the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today. Over the previous six months, ADP’s initial figures have overstated the Labor Department’s first estimate of private payroll losses by as little as 2,000 in February to as much as 151,000 in November.
Companies are still hesitant to add workers until they see sustained sales gains and are convinced the economic recovery has taken hold.
Today’s ADP report showed a decrease of 51,000 workers in goods-producing industries including manufacturers and construction companies. Service providers added 28,000 workers.
Employment in construction fell by 43,000, while factories lost 9,000 jobs, ADP said.
Companies employing more than 499 workers shrank their workforces by 7,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, cut 4,000 jobs and small companies decreased payrolls by 12,000, ADP said.
The ADP report is based on data from about 360,000 businesses with more than 22 million workers on payrolls. ADP began keeping records in January 2001 and started publishing its numbers in 2006.