Private sector continues to shed jobs

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Private-sector employers continued to cut jobs in March, highlighting the challenges still facing the nation's job market, according to a report released Wednesday.

Automatic Data Processing, which processes paychecks for one in every six U.S. employees, said private-sector employers cut payrolls by 23,000 jobs in March, marking the smallest monthly decline since February 2008.

The decline surprised many economists. A consensus of economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 40,000 jobs in the month.

The number of job cuts in February was revised to a loss of 24,000 jobs from the previously reported 20,000.

"American businesses are on the cusp of recovery, yet this report shows that they remain hesitant to increase their payrolls," Gary Butler, chief executive of ADP, said in a statement.

The service sector reported an increase of 28,000 jobs in March, marking the second consecutive monthly increase and the highest job growth since March of 2008.

However, that growth was offset by a loss of 51,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector and a drop of 9,000 manufacturing jobs.

Large businesses, those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline by 7,000 jobs, while small-size businesses with fewer than 50 workers had a drop of 12,000 workers.

Employment among medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers, declined by 4,000.

Many economists view the ADP report as a proxy for the government's monthly jobs report, which comes out Friday.

That report is expected to show a gain of 190,000 jobs in March, compared to a loss of 36,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 9.7%. Some economists may revise their estimates in light of Wednesday's report.

However, the ADP report was not impacted in February by the effects of severe winter weather, while the government report was, according to Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers.

That means Wednesday's report does not incorporate a weather-related rebound that could show up in Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report, Prakken said.

At the same time, the ADP report does not include any federal hiring in March for the 2010 Census, which some economists believe could add over 1 million temporary jobs to the economy.

"For both these reasons, it is reasonable to expect that Friday's employment figure from the BLS will be stronger than today's estimate," Prakken said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,827.75 12.81 0.07%
Nasdaq 4,787.32 29.07 0.61%
S&P 500 2,072.83 5.80 0.28%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.03 -1.15%
Data as of 5:33pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 42.32 0.00 0.00%
Apple Inc 119.00 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 77.62 1.99 2.63%
Pfizer Inc 31.10 0.00 0.00%
Bank of America Corp... 17.11 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Nov 26

Sections

The European Parliament has voted to break up Google and weaken its dominance across the region. More

Warren called it "hypocritical" for the White House to oppose corporate inversions but nominate a person who has worked in this area. More

Two pilots encountered drones while flying over college football games and another pilot saw one while flying over the Hollywood sign. More

Natalie's Cakes and More has raised $84,000 through GoFundMe after protests trash store. More

Retailers are promising big deals this Black Friday, but are the savings actually worth the shopping mayhem? Test your deal-sniffing skills. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.