I guess this isn’t really news, because it’s pretty much what everybody expected. But still: The ADP National Employment report came out again today. The part that interests me most, the small business portion, shows yet another 284,000 jobs lost last month in the small-business portion of the economy–businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

That’s the worst yet. The number was 270,000 for February, and 232,000 the month before that.

How bad is it? I downloaded historical data to produce this a chart of small-business job growth and loss over the last 24 months:

You can click to get a larger view of that. The hard-to-read vertical axis shows job loss or gain in thousands, with a high of 78,000 jobs gained in November of 2007, and a low of 284,000 jobs lost last month.

Joel Prakken, chairman of macroeconomic advisors, said:

“Despite some recent indications that stock prices, consumer spending and housing activity may be bottoming out, employment, which usually trails overall economic activity, is likely to remain very weak for at least several more months.”

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.