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U.S. Private Sector Sheds 254,000 Jobs

September's employment decline was the smallest since July of 2008

In a survey showing some improvement in the brutal pace of layoffs, the private sector shed 254,000 jobs in September, payrolls firm ADP said on Sept. 30.

The figure was the smallest number of job losses in more than a year for nonfarm private employment but higher than the 200,000 expected by most analysts.

The ADP survey, which provides a clue toward official unemployment reports, revised the job losses in August by 21,000, from a decline of 298,000 to a decline of 277,000 and the July figure by 11,000 from a decline of 371,000 to a decline of 360,000.

September's employment decline was the smallest since July of 2008 and employment losses have diminished significantly over the last two quarters, ADB said. "Nevertheless, employment, which usually trails overall economic activity, is likely to decline for at least several more months, with losses continuing to diminish," it said.

September's ADP report estimates nonfarm private employment in the service-providing sector fell by 103,000 while that in the goods-producing sector by 151,000 and the manufacturing sector by 74,000.

Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline by 61,000, while medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 workers declined 93,000, it said.

Employment among small-size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, declined 100,000.

Employment losses among small businesses have diminished in each of the last six months.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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