ADP said the private sector shed 254k jobs in Sept, 54k more than expected but it’s down from a loss of 298k in Aug and is the smallest decline since July ’08. Again, most of the cutbacks were in small and medium sized companies and also in the goods producing sector as manufacturing shed 74k jobs. Construction lost 73k jobs and was down for the 32nd straight month. Total job losses in this category from the top in Jan ’07 are now 1.632mm. The financial services area lost 19k jobs, the 22nd straight month of decline. Bottom line, although the pace of decline is moderating, the labor market still sucks (excuse the English) as companies deal with the continued uncertainty with final demand and sustainability of the impact of short term government steroid shots into the economy. Looking forward to Q4 and 2010, those companies with overseas exposure will likely be more inclined to add workers than those more US consumer centric entities.
While old news as we are basically done with Q3, Q2 GDP was revised (for 2nd time) to a decline of .7%, .5% better than expected and up from the last reading of -1%. The contributors to the less bad figure were an upward revision to consumer spending, gross private investment (led by equipment and software), trade (exports revised up more than imports) and government spending. Inventories were slightly more of a drag than last reported. The price deflator, which gave a boost to REAL GDP, was left unchanged.