Private companies in the United States slashed 27,000 jobs for the month ending March 12, the first private payroll contraction in a decade, payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported on Wednesday.
The March ADP National Employment Report, however, “does not fully reflect the most recent impact of COVID-19 on the employment situation,” including the recently reported weekly unemployment claims, said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
It was the first time the private payroll count had contracted in 10 years, and total job losses probably will total 10 million to 15 million,
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, was quoted by CNBC as saying.
Payrolls in service-providing industries declined by 18,000, and goods producers cut 9,000 jobs, according to the report.
Large firms added 56,000 workers, medium companies added 7,000, but small businesses reduced 90,000 employees.
The February total of jobs added was revised down from 183,000 to 179,000, the report showed.
The report, produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, is based on ADP payroll data, which represents 460,000 U.S. clients employing nearly 26 million workers in the country.
The ADP report comes two days before the crucial monthly employment report released by the U.S. Department of Labor, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government.
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said on Monday that the 3.3 million initial unemployment claims reported last Thursday suggest that the unemployment rate may already have spiked to 5.5 percent or so, up from 3.5 percent in February, which was a five-decade low.