The already gloomy unemployment outlook darkened Wednesday on a new private report that the US lost 742,000 jobs in March.
That's the biggest loss ever recorded by ADP, a national payroll processor, since it began tracking unemployment in 2000. Designed to approximate government data, the ADP report suggests that the official US unemployment rate will worsen when the Labor Department releases its data for March on Friday morning. The rate stood at 8.1 percent for February .
Unemployment rises overseas
Wednesday's ADP report also mirrors the deteriorating employment situation abroad.
Unemployment in the European Union rose to 7.9 percent in February, up from 7.7 percent in January, the EU's statistical office reported Wednesday. In the smaller euro area – the 16 European nations that use the currency – February unemployment was worse: 8.5 percent
On Tuesday, Japan announced its unemployment rate hit 4.4 percent in February, a three-year high. Economists said the global recession was pushing Japan's economy into its worst slump since World War II.
Fewer US service jobs
Here in the United States, the service industries lost 415,000 jobs in March, while the smaller goods-producing sector lost 327,000 jobs, the ADP report said. Employment in the goods-producing sector has been declining for 27 successive months; in manufacturing, specifically, the decline has lasted 37 months.
Not since November 2004 have so few Americans – 110.7 million workers – been on nonfarm private payrolls.