Businesses added a solid number of workers in October, as measured by a revamped survey of private-sector hiring released Thursday. However, layoff announcements jumped in the month.
Private-sector jobs in the U.S. increased 158,000 last month, according to a national employment report calculated by payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP) and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics.
The October report is the first since ADP announced last week it had overhauled its job-collecting methodology.
The new report breaks down employment by five categories of firm size.
In October, firms employing between 1-19 workers increased jobs by 18,000; firms with 20-49 employees added 32,000. Medium-sized businesses with payrolls of 50-499 workers added 27,000. Among large firms, businesses with 500-999 employees added 12,000 and large companies with more than 1,000 employees added 69,000.
Service-sector jobs increased by 144,000 last month, but factory jobs lost 8,000 slots.
Last week, ADP announced major changes to its payroll survey. ADP says the new methodology is geared toward capturing where the monthly job count will be revised to, not necessarily the initial reading of payrolls as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the first Friday of almost every month.
The new survey will cover 406,000 companies instead of 344,000 used in the old method. It will now be overseen by Moody's Analytics instead of Macroeconomic Advisers.
Under the new method the September increase was 88,200 jobs. Under the old methodology the September payroll gain was reported as 162,000.
The ADP survey tallies only private-sector jobs. The BLS's nonfarm payroll data, to be released Friday, include government workers.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expect total nonfarm payrolls increased by 125,000 in October, and last month's jobless rate is projected to edge up to 7.9% from 7.8% in September.
In the past, economists criticized ADP for posting big misses compared to the BLS's payroll figures. Forecasters are likely to wait to see how the new ADP numbers match up to the government's tally before using ADP as a good signal for payroll changes.
ADP, of Roseland, N.J., offers payroll processing, human resource and benefit administration services to about 600,000 clients worldwide. Economics firm Moody's Analytics is a subsidiary of Moody's Corporation.
In other job-related news, job cut announcements jumped 41% in October to 47,724, the highest level in five months, according to a report done by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The report said layoff plans usually increase after weak earnings reports, which was the case in October.