Private sector employment rose by 10,000 in April, according to a report by payroll giant ADP.

Small businesses of between one and 49 employees were responsible for much of the increase, adding 42,000 jobs, according to payroll data analyzed by Macroeconomic Advisers. Midsized businesses of between 50 and 499 employees lost 14,000 jobs, however. And large businesses with more than 500 employees lost 18,000 jobs.

The goods-producing sector lost 54,000 jobs, while the service-providing sector gained 64,000 jobs. The manufacturing industry lost 26,000 jobs, the twentieth consecutive monthly decline.

ADP and Macroeconomic Advisers also revised downward their previously published employment figures for March. In their earlier report, they said private-sector employment rose by 8,000. They now say the true figure is 3,000. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the overall economy lost 80,000 jobs in March.

Despite the overall gain in employment, the report does not point to a turnaround in the economy, which still appears to be faring poorly. "I think this report in conjunction with the ADP National Employment Reports from the last several months and the estimates from the BLS make it pretty clear that employment has ground to a halt," Macroeconomic Advisers chairman Joel Prakken said in an interview. "While today's number is a small positive number, I would not characterize it as a positive development. Employment growth is weak."

He noted that less than two years ago, ADP and Macroeconomic Advisers found jobs growing at a rate of about 200,000 per month. "Compared to what we were enjoying a year-and-a-half ago, we have just come to a complete standstill," he said.

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