On Eve of Big Jobs Report, a Solid Number Initial jobless claims drop to 363K By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Nov 1, 2012 7:45 AM CDT 14 comments Comments In this Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, Sheila Bird, right, waits in line for employment interviews at a job fair at City Target in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) (Newser) – US companies added a better-than-expected 158,000 jobs last month, finds a private report released today. The ADP survey, which has been pinged in the past for its swings-and-misses, was created using a methodology that was overhauled for the first time since 2001, reports Bloomberg. It was based on payroll data from 406,000 firms employing 23 million people, up from the 344,000 companies previously considered. The Wall Street Journal explains that ADP's September calculation of 162,000 new jobs falls to just 88,200 using the new method. For October, Bloomberg's survey of 37 economists had placed the median forecast at 131,000 jobs; a similar survey by the Journal put the expected number at 125,000. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims last week dropped by 9,000 to settle at 363,000; that points to modest hiring, the AP notes. The four-week average fell to 367,250.