Private-sector employment decreased by 693,000 in December, according to the monthly ADP National Employment Report, released by a division of Automatic Data Processing Inc.
The Roseland, N.J., company, which provides payroll and other outsourced services, put together its report from payroll data, measures the change in nonfarm private employment.
The report found that, for December, small business (less than 50 employees) lost 281,000 jobs; Medium businesses (50 to 499 employees) lost 321,000 jobs; and large businesses (more than 499 employees) shed 91,000 jobs.
The goods-producing sector dropped 220,000 of those jobs, the service sector, 473,000.
Joel Prakken, chairman of Washington-based Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, noted that a decline of 220,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector marked the the 23d consecutive monthly decline. And that a loss of 120,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector represented its 27th decline over the last 28 months.
Prakken was further quoted in an ADP release as saying that 102,000 construction jobs lost in December marked that sector's "21st consecutive monthly decline, and brings the total decline in construction jobs since the peak in January 2007 to 809,000."
He also said: "Though the severity of job losses in recent months among small-size businesses has been less than that at larger-size ones, today's employment declines clearly indicate that the recession has widened to include businesses of all sizes."
ADP bases its report on its approximately half-million U.S. business clients representing nearly 24 million U.S. employees working in all private industrial sectors.
Meanwhile, in the Philadelphia region, unemployment rose to 5.9 percent in November, up from 4 percent in November 2007, according to the U.S. Labor Department, which published its November metropolitan statistics on Tuesday.
The number of unemployed people in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, which includes the suburbs, nearby South Jersey counties, and parts of Delaware and Maryland, rose to 176,300, up 57,000 in a year and up 6,600 in a month.