ADP REPORTS A (SMALL) JOB LOSS FOR JANUARY PAYROLLS

ADP’s estimate of nonfarm payrolls for January shows a 22,000 decline. That’s in contrast with the consensus view of economists, who collectively expect a small rise of 13,000 in the official jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department, which is scheduled for release on Friday.


The reported loss by ADP is an improvement over its revised job loss estimate of 61,000 for December. “Growth of overall private employment is on the verge of turning positive,” according to Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, ADP’s partner in compiling this data series, via MarketWatch.com.
The view that the economy is close to the point where payrolls will rise seems to be fairly widespread at the moment. For instance, John Canally, an economist at LPL Financial, responds to the ADP payroll news and tells CNNMoney.com: “We aren’t doing a whole lot of hiring yet, but I think you can safely say the firing is starting to stop. And this shows that we’re close to adding more jobs.”
Meanwhile, John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment placement firm, explains today via Bloomberg News: “We are certainly starting 2010 on better footing than a year ago. It could be several months before hiring begins to accelerate but, in the meantime, employers are trying to hold on to the skilled workers they have counted on to get them through this downturn.”
Onward to Friday morning at 8:30, when the number arrives…