Private sector employment decreased by nearly 700,000 in February, according to the latest report from payroll giant ADP.

The report showed small businesses with less than 50 employees cut 262,000 jobs, while midsized businesses with between 50 and 499 employees slashed 314,000 jobs and large businesses with over 500 employees dropped 121,000 jobs.

The goods-producing sector lost 338,000 jobs, while the service sector cut 359,000 jobs. The manufacturing industry alone lost 219,000 jobs. Small businesses in the goods-producing sector lost 116,000 jobs, while small businesses in the service sector dropped 146,000 jobs.

“Sharply falling employment at medium- and small-size businesses clearly indicates that the recession is spreading aggressively beyond manufacturing and housing-related activities,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which compiles the reports with ADP.

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