But CNBC's economic guru Steve Liesman did the analysis—saying he settled on his number in a similar fashion to the real government report.
The methodology? Liesman said he used historical data to estimate what four different indicators—jobless claims, ADP, ISM and NFIB—suggested about where nonfarm payroll growth should be.
For example, he took the ADP report released Thursday, which put private sector growth at 166,000 jobs, and bumped it up a bit to account for that number being a little light recently.
(Read more: Private jobs come in light for September: ADP)
Liesman did the same for the three other indicators, and then took the average of all four—arriving at his estimate of 158,000.
Moody's Chief Economist Mark Zandi—who compiles the ADP report—said, "That's exactly how" government officials calculate the real number.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC. Analysis and reporting by CNBC's Steve Liesman. Follow him on Twitter: @steveliesman.