July Jobs Report: Less Down Is Still Down - InformationWeek

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8/6/2009
11:28 AM
Jim Manico
Jim Manico
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July Jobs Report: Less Down Is Still Down

The numbers are still nothing to cheer about -- especially among the 279,000 small and midsize business employees affected -- but at the very least, fewer jobs were lost last month than reported for June, according to the ADP's latest National Employment Report.

The numbers are still nothing to cheer about -- especially among the 279,000 small and midsize business employees affected -- but at the very least, fewer jobs were lost last month than reported for June, according to the ADP's latest National Employment Report.In all, 138,000 jobs were eliminated at small businesses (1-49 employees), and 159,000 at midsize businesses (50-499 employees), reports ADP (PDF), which bases its numbers on the thousands of customers for which it handles their payroll. Large businesses (500+) took a 74,000 hit. The not-so-grand total: 371,000 -- 54 percent of which are services businesses.

On a positive note, 371,000 is nearly 22 percent less than June's 473,000 tally, for which small businesses accounted for 177,000, midsize businesses for 205,000, and large businesses for 91,000. And from the following chart, you can see each month of this year doing better than the one before it.

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"Julys employment decline was the smallest since October of 2008 and continues the notable improvement between the first and second quarters of 2009," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which handles the survey (and it just goes to show you that ADP eats its own outsourcing dog food). "Nevertheless, despite recent indications that overall economic activity is stabilizing, employment, which usually trails overall economic activity, is likely to decline for at least several more months, albeit at a diminishing rate."

That's about as specific as even the nation's leading economists have been.

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