Private employers unexpectedly cut 10,000 jobs in August compared to a revised gain of 37,000 in July, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
The July figure was originally reported as a gain of 42,000.
The median of estimates from 34 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a rise of 19,000 private-sector jobs in August.
The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
That report is expected to show a fall in overall nonfarm payrolls of 100,000 in August, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, but a rise in private payrolls of 41,000.
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.
(Reporting by Burton Frierson)