Private sector employment decreased by 2.76 million jobs in May, according to the most recent ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday morning.
Economists had been expecting a decline of 8.75 million, making the drop much smaller than anticipated.
Large businesses saw the bulk of the job losses, reporting a decline of over 1.6 million. The trade, transportation and utilities sector was worst-hit, with 826,000 workers reporting job losses. Manufacturing saw a plunge of 719,000 workers.
In April, 19.6 million jobs were lost, according to the ADP—the worst number in the history of the survey.
“The impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to weigh on businesses of all sizes,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, cohead of the ADP Research Institute. “While the labor market is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, job loss likely peaked in April, as many states have begun a phased reopening of businesses.”
While May was better than feared, Jim Cramer's team at Action Alerts PLUS says it "doesn't negate the fact that the U.S. has lost tens of millions of jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic."
"While the report was better than expected, we remain cautiously optimistic as we await updates on the virus in coming weeks following Memorial Day last week and growing protests across the country this week that have of course resulted in large, non-physically distanced gatherings."
The report comes ahead of the Labor Department's release of nonfarm payroll numbers on Friday morning.
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