Employment declines at lowest level since March 2008, says ADP

Job losses continued to decline, according to ADP Unemployed workers in debt counseling who are desperate for a turnaround in the job market may be heartened by the newest ADP National Employment Report released on Wednesday that showed a continued drop in employment loss as 2009 came to a close.

According to the study, employment for nonfarm private sectors decreased by a seasonally adjusted figure of 84,000 from November to December 2009. The rate was noticeable lower than the revised drop of 145,000 jobs in nonfarm employment from October to November, and also reflected the smallest decline in jobs since March 2008.

Large businesses that employed more than 500 workers saw their payrolls decline the most, dropping 34,000 positions. Medium-sized businesses lost 25,000 jobs over the course of the month, as did small businesses with less than 50 employees.

Despite the declines, private employment in the service-providing sector increased by 12,000 for its first gain since March 2008.

The figures from the latest ADP report are causing some economists to be cautiously optimistic about the U.S. Labor Department’s upcoming unemployment figures for December.

Noting that the both organizations have traditionally released figures with similar outcomes, the Wall Street Journal blogger Justin Lahart said that ADP’s figures have sometimes "undershot" Labor Dept. figures because the former does not factor in government jobs.