Private sector employers slashed 522,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report by payroll giant ADP.

Small businesses with less than 50 employees cut 175,000 jobs, while midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees dropped 255,000 jobs. At large businesses with 500 employees or more, employment decreased by 92,000.

The goods-producing sector was responsible for losing 243,000 jobs, the 24th consecutive monthly decline. That included 160,000 jobs lost in the manufacturing industry, the 28th decline in the last 29 months. The service sector performed even worse, cutting 279,000 jobs.

Among small businesses, the goods-producing sector lost 74,000 jobs, and the service-providing sector slashed 101,000 jobs.

“Sharply falling employment at medium- and small-sized businesses clearly indicates that the recession continues to spread well beyond manufacturing and housing-related activities,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which compiles the reports with ADP.

He noted that construction employment dropped 83,000 in January, its 22nd consecutive monthly decline, bringing the total decline in construction jobs since the January 2007 peak to 923,000.

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