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updated 11/3/2010 2:44:43 PM ET 2010-11-03T18:44:43

Private employers added 43,000 jobs in October compared with a revised loss of 2,000 jobs in September, according to payrolls processor ADP.

The monthly number was lackluster, but better than expected.

Each month, ADP releases a report on whether private employers added any jobs in the prior month. The report is often used as a gauge heading into the government's monthly employment report, which is due out Friday.

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A separate report Wednesday showed the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose slightly in October, but the overall pace of downsizing for the year is down sixty-two percent from last year.

Employers announced 37,986 planned job cuts in October, up 2.2 percent from 37,151 cuts in September, according to the report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

In the first ten months of the year, employers announced 449,258 job cuts, compared to 1,192,587 announced at this point in 2009.

“Job cuts are the lowest they have been in a decade, due in part to a slowly improving economy; if not the fact that many employers have basically cut their workforces to the bare minimum,” John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, the lack of spending by consumers and businesses is stunting demand for new workers,” he said.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Video: Firms add 43,000 private-sector jobs


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