Private USjob losses drop as productivity improves

THE NUMBER of private sector jobs being lost in the US decreased in August to around half the rate of losses seen earlier this year, in a welcome sign the worst of the recessionary job cuts are over.<br /><br />Statistics from payroll company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) yesterday revealed that 298,000 jobs were lost last month, compared to 360,000 in July, as firms eased their levels of staff cutbacks amid the improving economic environment.<br /><br />Job losses averaged 700,000 in the first quarter, 500,000 in the second and around 300,000 on average so far in the third quarter.<br /><br />But many believe there will not be job growth until well into next year.<br /><br />The report said 146,000 service-sector jobs were lost in August, while jobs in manufacturing and construction fell by 152,000.<br /><br />ADP also revised up its productivity figures yesterday, suggesting workers are now 6.6 per cent more productive on an annualised basis.<br /><br />But it said this came as firms cut workers&rsquo; hours, forcing staff to work quicker to get the job done.