Another 2.8 million jobs in the private sector disappeared in May, according to the ADP national employment report.
The private sector lost far fewer jobs than expected, however. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had forecast 9 million lost jobs last month.
In April, ADP reported a revised 19.6 million jobs vanished, the worst month since the company began reporting national employment numbers in 2002.
All segments of the economy were decimated again in May, but large businesses with 500 employees or more accounted for more than half the jobs lost — 1.6 million.
Nearly 2 million of the losses occurred in the battered services industry, with the trade, transportation and utilities sector leading the declines. In the goods-producing industry, manufacturing shed the most jobs.
“The impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to weigh on businesses of all sizes,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “While the labor market is still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, job loss likely peaked in April, as many states have begun a phased reopening of businesses.”
The ADP report comes two days ahead of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' jobs report, which is due Friday morning.
Economists polled by Refinitiv expect another 8 million jobs lost in May, following a 20.5 million drop in April. That would push the unemployment rate to nearly 20%, a new record high.