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Weak ADP Data Raise Stakes for Friday's Jobs Number

Wednesday, 5 Dec 2012 | 4:04 PM ET

Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics reported that employers added 118,000 new private-sector jobs last month compared to 157,000 jobs in October. Economists were expecting a gain of 125,000.

The weak jobs numbers are largely blamed on Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the U.S. Northeast in late October and early November. Some analysts are claiming that Sandy lowered ADP numbers by as much as 86,000 jobs. Temp work, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing industries were hit hardest by the storm.

Small businesses were of particular concern, adding just 19,000 jobs.

"We think of small businesses as job creators and fuel for the economy," Heidi Moore tells The Daily Ticker. "If they're not growing, we really need to worry." Manufacturing was also hit hard, losing 16,000 jobs in November.

Related: The Top Small Business Job Creators in America

This marks the second month of a new partnership between ADP and Moody's Analytics. The two groups are attempting to present a revamped and more accurate private-sector jobs number, one that's more in line with the U.S. government's BLS monthly jobs report. If successful, these numbers will be able to provide a faster and more accurate picture of the U.S. economy than the government's jobs numbers currently do.

Related: Is the New ADP Payroll Report a Better Mousetrap?

Despite the weak November ADP jobs report, the economic outlook for next year appears positive. On Wall Street market calls for 2013 are nearly 200 points higher than they were for 2012. Moore echoes this sentiment. "I've heard a lot of economic optimism about what's going to happen in 2013…we've seen things in the economy slowly start to improve," she says.

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