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.
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.