Private-sector employment slowed a bit in September, according to data released Wednesday morning.
Employers added 154,000 private-sector jobs last month, down from 175,000 in August, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported. This is the smallest increase since April.
The increase in September was below expectations. Economists polled by Econoday had forecast a September gain of 170,000 jobs compared with an original estimate of 177,000 for August.
ADP has been a range of 150,000 to 207,000 jobs this year.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which prepares the report using ADP’s data, said job growth should be expected to slow as the U.S. nears full employment.
Analysts use ADP’s data to get a feeling for the Labor Department’s employment report, which will be released Friday and covers government jobs in addition to the private sector.
Economists polled by MarketWatch expect the government’s report for September to show that nonfarm payroll accelerated to 169,000 jobs, a bit better than the 151,000 pace in the prior month.
Details of ADP’s report showed that small private-sector businesses added 34,000 jobs in September, medium businesses added 56,000 and large businesses added 64,000.
Most of those gains were in the service sector—151,000 jobs added there, compared with 3,000 for goods producers.
Manufacturing lost 6,000 jobs in September.