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.
HSBC banker arrested at JFK airport as he prepared to leave the country. He and former trader face federal charges they manipulated currency trades. More
With one exception, every vice presidential candidate in the past 40 years has released a tax return. Given that Donald Trump hasn't released his tax returns, will Mike Pence be the second exception? More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
A discount on a student loan from Wells Fargo is now yet another perk Amazon offers its Prime customers. More