Companies in the U.S. added 185,000 workers to payrolls in July, figures from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Wednesday.
The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 215,000 advance in July, with estimates ranging from gains of 190,000 to 263,000. The June reading was revised to 229,000 after a previously reported 237,000 increase.
“Job growth is strong, but it has moderated since the beginning of the year,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc., said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “Layoffs in the energy industry and weaker job gains in manufacturing are behind the slowdown. Nonetheless, even at this slower pace of growth, the labor market is fast approaching full employment.”
A Labor Department report on Friday is projected to show employers, including government agencies, took on 225,000 workers last month, while the jobless rate held at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent.
Goods-producing industries, which include manufacturers and construction companies, increased headcount by 8,000 in July, according to the ADP report. Construction employment rose by 15,000 and factory payrolls increased 2,000. Employment at service providers climbed 178,000 in July, led by gains at professional and business service providers.
Companies employing 500 or more workers added 64,000 jobs. Headcount at businesses with 50 to 499 employees increased by 62,000 and the smallest companies boosted payrolls by 59,000, the report showed.