While the private sector added 110,000 jobs in October and layoffs at U.S. firms dropped, the outlook for employment is still looking tepid, at best.
"This sort of number is consistent at best with I'd say holding the unemployment rate constant," Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors, told CNBC.
Macroeconomic Advisors and ADP compiled the monthly numbers, which show that smaller firms did better at creating jobs in October: Companies with between 50 and 499 workers added 53,000 jobs.
But employers also announced 42,759 planned job cuts last month, tumbling 63.1 percent from 115,730 the month before, according to a report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It was the lowest level in four months, and while the total layoffs for the year are well off recession levels, the up and down trend of hiring and layoffs is expected to continue into the first half of 2012.