The U.S. economy declined by 23,000 private sector jobs in February, according to the latest monthly report by payroll processor ADP, the first decline the report has shown since 2003.

Despite the overall decline, ADP saw a gain of 15,000 jobs among small businesses with between one and 49 employees, but that was more than offset by a decrease of 4,000 jobs among midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees, and 34,000 jobs among large businesses with more than 499 employees.

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