Decline in number of US jobs lost


US employers shed 20,000 private sector jobs in February according to a report by ADP today, fewer than the 60,000 jobs lost in January and inline with analysts' expectations.

With the labour market remaining one of the weakest points of the economy, analysts were encouraged by the easing trend.

The ADP figures are seen by some analysts as a proxy for the government's closely watched report on non-farm payrolls. The US Labor Department will release its February labour report on Friday.

Analysts expect the report to show the economy lost 50,000 jobs last month, compared with 20,000 the month before, according to Reuters data.

The median of estimates from 31 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP National Employment Report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a decline of 20,000 private-sector jobs last month.

The January fall was originally reported at 22,000.