Private businesses added slightly more than expected jobs in September, according to a report released Wednesday. But large companies cut jobs and thanks mostly to two enterprises cutting staff, layoff announcements last month jumped to the highest number in more than two years.
Private-sector jobs in the U.S. rose by 91,000 last month, according to a national employment report published by payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) and consultancy Macroeconomic Advisers. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected ADP would report a September gain of just 75,000. The August data were revised down to show a rise of 89,000 versus 91,000 reported a month ago. The ADP survey tallies only private-sector jobs, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ nonfarm payroll data, to be released Friday, include government workers.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect total nonfarm payrolls rose by only 60,000 slots in September after the number of jobs were unchanged in August. State and local government layoffs probably cut the top-line payroll number, while the return of about 46,000 workers on strike at Verizon in mid-August will lift the job tally. The September unemployment rate is expected to remain at 9.1%. The jobless rate has been 9.0% or more since April, a sign of how labor markets are running out of steam.
The latest ADP report showed large businesses with 500 employees or more cut 5,000 employees from their staffs, while medium-size businesses added 36,000 workers in September and small businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers hired 60,000 new workers. Service-sector jobs increased by 90,000 last month, and factory jobs fell by 5,000. ADP, of Roseland, N.J., says it processes payments of one in six U.S. workers, while Macroeconomic Advisers, based in St. Louis, is an economic-consulting firm. In another job-related report, U.S. employers announced plans to trim 115,730 workers from the payrolls last month, a 126% jump from August, according to Challenger Gray & Christmas.
Last month’s total is the highest since April 2009, when 132,590 job cuts were announced. But the report said “it is important to keep in mind that 80,000 cuts, or nearly 70% of last month’s total, came from just two organizations: Bank of America and the United States Army.”