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The U.S. lost an estimated 84,000 private-sector nonfarm jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc.'s (NYSE: ADP) monthly national employment report released today.
"The December employment decline was the smallest since March of 2008," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, which created the report in partnership with ADP. "Employment losses are now rapidly diminishing and, if recent trends continue, private employment will begin rising within the next few months."
Service-sector jobs rose by 12,000 in December -- the first increase since March 2008 -- but employment in the goods-producing sector fell by 96,000.
The report also raised the estimate of jobs lost in November to 169,000 from 145,000.
Data in the ADP report is derived from an anonymous subset of roughly 500,000 U.S. business clients.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will report on Friday the official estimate of total nonfarm jobs in December. In its last report, the agency announced total nonfarm jobs (not just private sector) fell by only 11,000 in November.
Earlier this week, Wanted Technologies forecast the BLS will report a gain in total nonfarm jobs of 75,000 in December. The Wall Street Journal reports that economists anticipate a loss of 10,000 jobs in December.