The battered U.S. job market got a bit better as private employers cut just 22,000 jobs in January.
That is about one-third the number of jobs cut the prior month.
The information comes from ADP, a company that processes paychecks across the nation.
On Friday, government experts will publish the national unemployment rate and the net number of jobs lost or gained across the economy.
The U.S. economy lost 85,000 jobs in December, but economists interviewed by news organizations say there could be a net gain in January.
They also say the jobless rate might edge up slightly to 10.1 hit percent.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.