The country's great job contraction is continuing, based on separate reports released Wednesday.
• The number of private sector jobs fell 371,000 in July, according to ADP's monthly national employment report. The reduction was across the board, with small businesses losing 138,000 jobs, medium businesses losing 159,000 jobs and large businesses down 74,000 jobs.
• After falling to a 15-month low in June, planned job cuts announced by U.S. employers jumped 31 percent in July to 97,373. The report by outplacement agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas marked the first increase in monthly job cuts since January.
There is a silver lining. The private sector cuts are well off the highs from earlier this year and many economists believe the worst of the job bloodletting is behind us. Nonetheless, most economists expect the unemployment rate — 9.5 percent nationally and 10.6 percent in Florida at last count — to continue rising. The national unemployment rate for July comes out Friday.
"While there are signs the economy is stabilizing and the pace of layoffs slowing, we are still a long way from a full recovery," Challenger Gray's CEO, John Challenger, said.