This morning's ADP National Employment Report showed a much better than expected count of job losses, coming in at a loss of 491,000 jobs lost instead of the consensus of -643,000. While the count is still high, it is a slowdown in the rate of decline and on the news futures jumped to positive territory.
However, how good of an indicator is ADP? The ADP survey uses actual payroll data from ~400,000 of its US clients and only counts private-sector jobs while the US Government's Bureaus of Labor Statistics non-farm payroll numbers (to be released Friday) is a survey of businesses and includes government employees. ADP uses the BLS numbers as a baseline benchmark to which they adjust their numbers. The BLS, on the other hand, adjusts its numbers to account for new businesses that are not yet in its survey and businesses that may have gone under.