The plummet follows a 158,000 gain in November and falls far short of the 121,000 average gain seen over the past three months. It is also short of the predictions by economists of a 120,000 gain in private employment, according to a press release from ADP.
The report also suggests that non-farm payrolls fell by about 25,000 in December, making it the first decline since July 2003.
According to the news release, the last time ADP showed a decline in jobs coincided with the pre-war economic slump in 2003.
According to MarketWatch, the ADP report has been a reliable predictor of government job data, but overestimated government predictions by 234,000 in June.
The ADP sample is gathered during the same week of the month as the government survey, using similar techniques on anonymous sample data compiled from about 307,000 business sites covering about 17 million workers.