The U.S. private sector shed 697,000 jobs in February, more than expected, as employers slashed payrolls to cope with the shrinking economy, data from private firm ADP showed on March 4.
The number far exceeded analysts' consensus forecast of 630,000 jobs lost last month in the private sector.
ADP revised sharply higher its December job loss number to 614,000 from an initial estimate of 522,000 jobs.
Nearly half the job losses were in the services sector, which accounts for nearly 85% of nonfarm jobs in the world's biggest economy. A total of 359,000 service jobs vanished.
The manufacturing sector dropped 338,000 jobs.Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009