Businesses with less than 50 employees shed 75,000 private sector jobs in October, according to the latest monthly employment report from payroll giant ADP.

The report found that private sector employment overall decreased by 203,000 last month, including 75,000 jobs lost in midsized businesses with 50 to 499 employees, and 53,000 jobs lost in large businesses with over 499 employees.

The goods-producing sector slashed 117,000 jobs, including 41,000 in small businesses. The service sector cut 86,000 jobs, including 34,000 small-business jobs.

Despite the steady job losses, the pace of job cuts appears to have slowed.

“October’s employment decline was the smallest since July of 2008,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors, which compiles the reports for ADP. “Employment usually trails overall economic activity, so losses are likely to continue for at least a few more months, but at a diminishing rate.”

Prakken noted that while it’s too soon to determine which types of businesses will lead employment growth in the next few months, small businesses seem to be leading the charge. The percentage change of job losses from September to October was 0.156 percent for small businesses, compared to 0.295 percent for large companies.

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