Nonfarm Private Employment Decreased 697,000 according to the February ADP National Employment Report®.

Nonfarm private employment decreased 697,000 from January 2009 to February 2009 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report®. The estimated change of employment from December 2008 to January 2009 was revised down by 92,000, from a decline of 522,000 to a decline of 614,000.


  • February’s ADP Report estimates nonfarm private employment in the service-providing sector fell by 359,000.
  • Employment in the goods-producing sector declined 338,000, the twenty-sixth
  • consecutive monthly decline.
  • Employment in the manufacturing sector declined 219,000, its thirty-sixth consecutive decline.
  • Construction employment dropped 114,000. This was its twenty-fifth consecutive
  • monthly decline, and brings the total decline in construction jobs since the peak in January 2007 to 1,004,000.

Sharply falling employment at medium and small-size businesses clearly indicates that the recession is spreading aggressively beyond manufacturing and housing related activities.

Medium Businesses Leading The Decline

The above chart, 4th in a series of 5 interesting charts (click on the first link above to see all the charts) shows that medium sized businesses, defined as 50-499 employees are now leading the decline in jobs lost as of summer 2008. Small sized companies (1-49) employees were hanging very tough until July 2008. That is no longer the case.


Here is an interesting chart showing ADP vs. the official BLS statistics.

click on chart for sharper image

The chart can be customized for date ranges and type of employment, at least in theory. I cannot get any parameters to work other than what shows on the link above.

Small Business Report

The ADP Small Business Report , a subset of the national report notes the following.

• Total small business employment: -262,000
• Goods-producing sector: -116,000 small business jobs
• Service-providing sector: -146,000 small business jobs

“Employment among small-size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, declined 262,000. The magnitude of this month’s job loss indicates that the recession has spread aggressively to small-size businesses. Earlier in the recession these businesses had demonstrated more resiliency than medium and large-size ones, but that is no longer the case.”

Look for another grim employment report on Friday, perhaps in the range of 600,000 to 800,000 jobs lost. This will be the 14th consecutive months of jobs lost, and the numbers appear to be accelerating to the downside with no end in sight.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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