ADP reports that 491k jobs were lost in the private sector, much less than expectations of a fall of 645k and a big improvement from a revised -708k reading in March (down from 742k). It’s the smallest job loss since the -352k figure in Oct ’08.

Small and medium sized businesses continue to see the biggest declines. Construction shed 95k jobs and a total of 1.261mm jobs have been lost in this sector since the high in Jan ’07 but the loss of 95k is the smallest since Nov ’08. Friday’s Govt Payroll # is expected to fall by 610k and some may revise that based on today’s data but the month to month correlation between the two survey’s has been sketchy.

We’ve seen a plateau in initial jobless claims that is reflecting a static level of firing and today’s # could follow that but continuing claims moving higher reflects the difficulty in finding new jobs and will result in the unemployment rate moving still higher.

Either way, we’ll take less bad as it’s the new good.

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