US employment in the private sector fell by a record 697,000 in February, according to the ADP employment report released Wednesday. This follows a downwardly-revised January in which payrolls were lower by 614,000, not the initially reported 522,000. The number was below estimations, as economists were looking for job losses in the range of 630,000.
Employment in the services sector fell by 359,000, the fifth monthly decline in a row. Jobs in the goods-producing sector fell by 338,000, the 26th consecutive monthly decline. Employment in the manufacturing sector declined 219,000, marking its 36th consecutive decline.
Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline 121,000, while medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 workers declined 314,000. Employment among small-size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, declined 262,000. Sharply falling employment at medium- and small-size businesses clearly indicates that the recession is spreading aggressively beyond manufacturing and housing-related activities.
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