254,000 Jobs Lost in September, ADP Says, As Losses Slow

Will small and midsize service businesses lead the jobs recovery whenever it begins? That’s one indication of the latest jobs report by payroll provider ADP released this morning.

Private non-farm employers shed 254,000 jobs in September, according to the report. The projection shows job losses slowing, but months of continued losses remain ahead, according to Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers and author of the report.

All of the decline in job losses in September comes from small and midsize businesses, according to the ADP report. Large employers with more than 500 employees shed 61,000 jobs in September, about the same decline as ADP reported in August. But losses at mid-size companies (with between 50 and 499 workers) slowed significantly: they lost 93,000 jobs in September, compared to 116,000 in August. Likewise, the report shows small companies with under 50 employees losing 100,000 jobs in September, down from 122,000 in August.

The services sector also held up more strongly than the goods providing sector, with 103,000 service jobs lost in September, compared to 151,000 in the goods-providing sector.

The official Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report will be out Friday morning. Last month, the official report projected 216,000 jobs lost in August, less than the ADP figure, but the Labor Department also counts public sector job gains and losses.