February's job reduction of 20,000, was the smallest number of jobs in two years in February, the ADP National Employment Report reported on March 3.
ADP revised sharply higher its January number of job losses to 60,000, from an initial estimate of 22,000.
The ADP survey found that vast services sector created 17,000 jobs, the second consecutive monthly increase in the sector that drives more than two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product, or output.
But that improvement was not enough to offset continued job destruction in the goods-producing sector, where 37,000 jobs were lost.
In that sector, 3,000 manufacturing jobs were created, the first rise since January 2008.
ADP noted that employment at medium-sized businesses -- employing between 50 and 499 workers -- rose for the first rise since January 2008.
The increase of 8,000 jobs was modest but suggested that a large portion of the business sector was once again hiring amid a fragile recovery.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010