US Private Sector Sheds More Jobs Than Expected: ADP

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Agence France-Presse

US Private Sector Sheds More Jobs Than Expected: ADP

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(AFP/Getty Images/File/Spencer Platt)

WASHINGTON — The US private sector shed jobs at a slower pace for
the eighth consecutive month in November as the economy emerges from
recession, and the drop was sharper than expected, ADP data showed
Wednesday.

Payrolls firm ADP said the nonfarm sector lost 169,000 jobs last month, 26,000 fewer than in October.

The
reading was worse than the average analyst forecast of 150,000 job
losses as businesses struggled amid persistent tight credit conditions
and worries about the strength of the nascent recovery.

The poor
ADP survey, a snapshot of nonfarm private employment that offers a clue
to the momentum of the labor market, comes ahead of the official
monthly labor report Friday that includes government jobs.

Most
analysts expect the Labor Department to report the unemployment rate
held steady at 10.2 percent in November -- a 26-year high -- and the
economy shed 120,000 nonfarm jobs, down from 190,000 in October.

"Although
overall economic activity is stabilizing, employment usually trails
economic activity, so it is likely to decline for at least a few more
months," ADP said.

That outlook was more pessimistic than the
Federal Reserve, which forecast in late November that the unemployment
rate would begin to fall in January.

According to ADP, the vast
services sector, representing more than 85 percent of US nonfarm
employment, shed 81,000 jobs in November, up a tick from 79,000.

By
contrast, job losses in the goods-producing sector dropped to 88,000
from 116,000 in October, with employment in the manufacturing sector
falling 44,000, the smallest decline since May 2008, the ADP noted.

The
ADP report highlighted the steep hurdles to economic recovery as
consumers curb spending, which drives two-thirds of output, amid job
insecurity and losses in home values and investment portfolios.

To
address the problem, President Barack Obama has called a "jobs forum"
Thursday at the White House that will gather business leaders,
including Google boss Eric Schmidt and Disney chief Bob Iger,
economists such as Nobel laureates Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman and
labor chiefs.

Amid growing calls from Democrats in Congress for
government action, since unemployment topped 10 percent in October,
Obama must also balance long-term concern over soaring US budget
deficits, which could constrain any new spending.

The White House
argues that a 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan passed early
this year has likely saved or created a million jobs, and prevented an
even worse unemployment crisis.

But Republicans assail the White
House with calls of "where are the jobs?" alleging that officials are
cooking the figures and have done more to safeguard federal government
jobs rather than create new ones in the private sector.

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