Private-sector employment fell in September, according to a new report out this morning that augurs bad news for Friday's much-awaited official employment numbers -- the last release before Election Day.
Markets have been looking to the monthly ADP National Employment Report as an early indicator of Friday's figures, and analysts had predicted a net gain of 20,000 jobs in the private sector. Instead, the ADP report -- which is compiled from payroll data -- showed the private sector had slashed 39,000 jobs. The drop followed seven months of gains.
Manufacturing and construction bore the brunt of the losses, with the sectors dropping 17,000 and 28,000 jobs, respectively. The service-providing sector added 6,000 jobs last month, but it was not enough to offset losses in goods-producing industries.