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March Employment Dip Smallest Since Early 2008

March recorded the smallest employment dip since February, 2008 with nonfarm private employment decreasing 23,000 from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report.

Employment in the goods-producing sector declined 51,000, with employment in the manufacturing sector declining by 9,000.

The report notes the figure does not incorporate a weather-related rebound that could be present in an upcoming BLS report to be released later this week.

The estimated change of nonfarm private employment from January 2010 to February 2010 was revised down slightly, from a decline of 20,000 to a decline of 24,000.

ADP stated that improvement in employment from February to March is consistent with the pause in the decline of initial unemployment claims that occurred during the winter.

The figure also does not represent additional hiring taking place this March for the 2010 Census.

"For both these reasons, it is reasonable to expect that Friday's employment figure from the BLS will be stronger than today's estimate in the ADP," said ADP in the report.

The ADP Report estimates nonfarm private employment in the service-providing sector increased by 28,000, the second consecutive monthly increase.

Large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, saw employment decline by 7,000 while small-size businesses with fewer than 50 workers, declined 12,000. Employment among medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers, declined by 4,000.

In March, construction employment dropped 43,000. This was the smallest decline since July of 2008, but basically unchanged from the decline of 44,000 during February 2010. Employment in the financial services sector dropped 8,000.

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