Payroll data released Tuesday showed that private sector employers slashed 491,000 jobs in April.

Payroll processor ADP’s monthly employment report showed that small businesses with less than 50 employees dropped 183,000 jobs, midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees axed 231,000 jobs, and large businesses with 500 employees or more cut 77,000 jobs last month.

The goods-producing sector was responsible for 262,000 job cuts, while the service sector axed 229,000 jobs. Of the 183,000 jobs lost among small businesses, 91,000 were in the goods-producing sector and 92,000 in the service sector.

“Despite some recent indications that stock prices, consumer spending and housing activity may be bottoming out, employment, which usually trails overall economic activity, is likely to decline for at least several more months, although perhaps not as rapidly as during the last six months,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which collaborates on the reports with ADP.

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