ADP Says U.S. Companies Cut Estimated 203,000 Jobs

Companies in the U.S. cut an estimated 203,000 jobs in October, according to a private report based on payroll data.

The drop was the smallest in more than a year and followed with a revised 227,000 decline the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today. T

The report signals unemployment will keep climbing even after the economy begins to expand, one reason why Federal Reserve policy makers may pledge to keep interest rates low for a long time after their meeting today. ADP has overstated the Labor Department’s initial estimate of payroll losses by 103,000 per month on average in the five months to September. 

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 report comes two days before a Labor Department release that is forecast to show the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in October, the highest since 1983, while employers cut 175,000 jobs.

Another report today showed employers announced the fewest job cuts in 17 months in October. Planned firings fell 51 percent last month to 55,679 from 112,884 in October 2008, a fifth consecutive year-on-year decline and the largest since July 2006, Chicago-based placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said. Announcements were down 16 percent from the prior month.

The economy already has lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, the most of any economic slump since the Great Depression.

Today’s ADP report showed a decrease of 117,000 workers in goods-producing industries including manufacturers and construction companies. Service providers cut 86,000 workers.

Employment in construction fell by 51,000, the 33rd straight monthly drop, while manufacturers cut 65,000 workers.

Companies employing more than 499 workers shrank their workforce by 53,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, eliminated 75,000 jobs and small companies also decreased payrolls by 75,000, ADP said.

US Airways Group Inc., the smallest full-fare U.S. airline, was among companies cutting staff last month. The Tempe, Arizona-based carrier, said it will cut 1,000 jobs, or about 3 percent of the workforce, and drop some flight routes.

Some companies are adding to their payrolls. Deere & Co., the world’s largest maker of agricultural equipment, said last week it’s recalling 452 workers, the majority of manufacturing employees laid off earlier this year at a company factory in Iowa.

The ADP report is based on data from about 400,000 businesses with 23 million workers on payrolls. ADP began keeping records in January 2001 and started publishing its numbers in 2006.

ADP Says U.S. Companies Cut Estimated 203,000 Jobs, Bloomberg
11/4/2009 9:32:22 AM