Nonfarm Private Employment Decreased 742,000 according to the March ADP National Employment Report®.

Nonfarm private employment decreased 742,000 from February to March 2009 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report®. The estimated change of employment from January to February was revised down by 9,000, from a decline of 697,000 to a decline of 706,000.


  • Total Nonfarm employment fell by 742,000
  • Service sector employment fell by 415,000.
  • Employment in the goods-producing sector declined 327,000, the twenty-seventh consecutive monthly decline.
  • Employment in the manufacturing sector declined 206,000, its thirty-seventh consecutive decline.
  • Construction employment dropped 118,000. This was its twenty-sixth consecutivemonthly decline, and brings the total decline in construction jobs since the peak in January 2007 to 1,135,000.

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.

ADP was tracking the BLS numbers very close until July 2008. Since then ADP reported losses have been way larger than the BLS numbers. However, that does not seem to be reflected in the chart. This could be due to back revisions. I am attempting to get an answer from ADP.

Small Business Report

The ADP Small Business Report notes the following breakdowns.

• Total small business employment: -284,000
• Total medium business employment: -330,000
• Total large business employment: -128,000

“Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline by 128,000, while medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 workers declined 330,000. Employment among small-size businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, declined 284,000. The sharp employment declines among medium and small-size businesses indicate that the recession continues to spread aggressively beyond manufacturing and housing-related activities to almost every area of the economy.”

Look for another grim employment report on Friday, perhaps in the range of 600,000 to 800,000 jobs lost. This will be the 15th consecutive months of jobs lost with no end in sight.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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