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Private-Sector Jobs Drop By 23,000

Source: WSJ

Posted on 31 Mar 2010

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According to a national employment report published Wednesday by payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy firm Macroeconomic Advisers, private-sector jobs in the U.S. dropped by 23,000 this month.

Separately, U.S. factory orders posted stronger than expected gains in February, indicating a building momentum in manufacturing that could translate into gains for production and the broader economy.

The ADP survey tallies only private-sector jobs, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics' nonfarm payroll data, to be released Friday, include government workers. The addition of workers for the 2010 census is expected to lift federal government payrolls.

The ADP number compares with a 50,000 gain projected by economists in a Dow Jones Newswires survey. The change in employment from January 2010 to February 2010 was revised down slightly, from a decline of 20,000 to a decline of 24,000.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the BLS will report March payrolls jumped by 200,000 jobs, following a drop of 36,000 in February when blizzards along the East Coast cut into business hours and kept workers snowed in at home.

The March unemployment rate is projected to remain at 9.7%.

The latest ADP report showed large businesses with 500 employees or more shed 7,000 and medium-size businesses lost 4,000 workers in March. Small businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers cut 12,000 jobs.

Service-sector jobs added 28,000, while factory jobs fell by 9,000 in March.