Private Sector Creates 43,000 Jobs; Recovery Still Weak

U.S. private employers added 43,000 jobs in October compared to a revised loss of 2,000 jobs in September, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

The September figure was originally reported as a loss of 39,000.

Unemployment line
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Unemployment line

The median of estimates from 35 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a rise of 20,000 private-sector jobs in October.

The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.

That report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 60,000 in August, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, but a rise in private payrolls of 75,000.

"Today's ADP National Employment Report shows that U.S. private sector employment remains frustratingly stagnant," said Gary Butler, CEO of ADP, in a prepared statement. "The new Congress has a great opportunity to make job creation priority one by taking actions that both reduce uncertainty across the economy and incentivize businesses to invest and expand."

Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.

Announced Job Cuts Fall 32% From Year Ago

Meanwhile, planned layoffs edged up slightly in October from the month before, while the pace of job cuts remained near a record low, outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas announced earlier Wednesday.

US companies planned to cut 37,986 jobs last month, up 2.2 percent from the 37,151 layoffs planned in September. The number of planned cuts is down 32 percent from the same month of 2009.

The pace of job cutting is also down sharply from the previous year, with 449,258 job cuts announced in 2010, down 62 percent from the comparable period a year ago.

“Job cuts are the lowest they have been in a decade, due in part to a slowly improving economy; if not the fact that many employers have basically cut their workforces to the bare minimum," CEO John A. Challenger said in a news release.

"Unfortunately, the lack of spending by consumers and businesses is stunting demand for new workers," Challenger said. "The modest gains in business activity are currently being met by increasing hours of existing workers."

The biggest job cuts came in the entertainment and leisure sectors, followed by the government and non-profit sectors.