Private Employment Slips for First Time in Seven Months

Manufacturing lost 6,000 jobs

Signaling a weakening economic recovery, U.S. private sector employment dropped in August payrolls firm ADP said on Sept. 1. Some 10,000 private-sector jobs were lost last month following a revised July increase of 37,000 jobs.

Most economists had expected 13,000 jobs to be created.

ADP said that in August, employment in the service-providing sector rose by 30,000, the seventh consecutive monthly gain, but the increase was not enough to offset a decline in the goods-producing sector of 40,000.

Employment in the manufacturing sector decreased 6,000, the second consecutive monthly decline.

Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment remain essentially flat while employment among medium-size businesses decreased by 5,000 and among small-size businesses slipped by 6,000.

Construction employment also dropped, by 33,000, while that in the financial services sector fell by 5,000.

"The decline in private employment in August confirms a pause in the recovery already evident in other economic data," ADP said. "The deceleration in employment was evident in the major sectors and by size of business."

August's employment decline followed six increases from February through July.

In addition, over those six months, the average monthly gain in employment was 37,000 with no evidence of acceleration, ADP said.

The weak data came ahead of the government's release of the monthly employment data on Sept. 3, with most analysts forecasting non-farm payrolls to fall by 118,000 in August and unemployment to edge up to 9.6% from the current 9.5% rate.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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