Jobs picture: Stagnant, stubborn

jobs_100610.gi.top.jpgJob seekers attend a state-sponsored career and job resource fair in Denver, Colo. By Charles Riley and Annalyn Censky, staff reporters


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Looking ahead to Friday's government jobs report, the outlook doesn't look rosy. Two separate reports issued Wednesday paint a grim picture of the job market.

Private sector employers cut 39,000 jobs in September -- a turn toward the negative after the private sector added jobs for seven straight months before, according to a report by payroll processing firm Automatic Data Processing.

Those cuts surprised economists polled by Briefing.com who had expected the report to show 18,000 jobs added during the month.

"There simply is no momentum in employment," the ADP report said.

A separate report showed employers planned more job cuts in September, up from a 10-year low reported in August.

Employers said they would cut 37,151 jobs in September, a 7% increase from the 34,768 job cuts reported in August, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

ADP and Challenger's reports use different metrics, with ADP measuring only private sector job growth and Challenger compiling planned job cuts in the government and non-profit sectors as well as private industry.

The two reports set the stage for the government's closely watched jobs number due Friday, which economists also expect to bring gloomy news.

Consensus estimates from Briefing.com forecast the report to show the economy added no jobs in September, and that the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.7% from 9.6% in August.

Even though job statistics are often a volatile measure, the latest data is worrying and make a bigger case for a 10% unemployment rate, Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics, said in a research note.

According to the Challenger report, September's planned cuts were most severe in the pharmaceutical and government and non-profit sectors.

In the private sector, construction and manufacturing accounted for the bulk of the job cuts, whereas the services industry actually hired more workers, ADP 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 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 5:41pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.35%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.14 -0.56%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. More

Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.