Private non-agricultural employment in the United States fell by much less than consensus with a decline of 8k jobs in September, according to a report released from Automatic Data Processing on Wednesday morning. The previous month's data was revised down to -37k from an originally reported -33k.

The figure was more optimistic than the -50k expected by economists. Forecasts prior to the release ranged from -20k to -135k.

Speaking on CNBC, Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors, characterized the report as a weak, noting there were broad-based declines. He said there were reasons why ADP figures would report a better employment situation than the BLS, namely the strike at Boeing, and that initial claims picked up from the Hurricane, neither of which affect the ADP results.

The loss of labour was driven by a 72k decline in the goods-producing sector, which has been in decline for 22 months now. Manufacturing also pulled back 48k jobs, marking the 25th month in a row of declines.

Those losses were mostly offset by gains in the service sector, which advanced by 64k in the month.

The ADP figures are the primary tool to forecast the nonfarm payrolls report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the benchmark employment figure for the United States. As of Wednesday morning, economists expect the BLS report to fall by 105k on Friday.

By Patrick McGee and edited by Stephen Huebl
©CEP News Ltd. 2008