- Private-sector firms cut 27,000 jobs in the month ended March 12, according to a Wednesday report from ADP.
- The release marks the metric’s first decline since 2017 and suggests the labour market began to weaken before widespread lockdowns and stay-at-home activity was ordered later in March.
- Small employers slashed 90,000 roles, with the majority of the losses stemming from businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
- Mid-sized firms added 7,000 jobs, while payrolls at large companies jumped by 56,000, according to ADP.
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US companies cut 27,000 jobs in the month ended March 12, according to a Wednesday report from ADP, bringing the first decline for the metric since 2017.
The report reveals a weakening labour market before the nation stepped up coronavirus containment measures later in the month. Weekly jobless claims data released March 26 showed a record 3.28 million filings after lockdowns and business closures drove mass layoff activity throughout the US.
A report scheduled for Thursday morning publication is set to show a similar jump in unemployment claims for the week ended March 28. The month’s biggest job cuts are set to appear in ADP’s next report.
Small employers shed 90,000 positions, with the majority of losses originating from businesses with fewer than 20 employees, according to ADP. Mid-sized firms added 7,000 employees and large businesses brought in 56,000 new hires.
Goods-producing businesses cut 9,000 roles with losses concentrated in the construction sector. The service industry lost 18,000 payrolls in total, with a 37,000 job loss in transportation and trade businesses offset by gains in health services firms.
ADP’s previous report posted a 179,000 gain in payrolls through April.
The March report arrives as other firms anticipate joblessness to skyrocket through 2020. The coronavirus outbreak is all but certain to fuel economic recession, and Goldman Sachs analysts estimated Tuesday the unemployment rate will more than quadruple to 15% by the second half of the year.
The Labour Department’s March report slated for Friday release is expected to show the unemployment rate reaching 3.8% from 3.5%, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. Private-sector payrolls are projected to plunge by 123,000.