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The report also showed lower numbers than June's 281,000 jobs created, but economists aren't necessarily viewing that as a sign of weak growth.
"Although down from June, the July jobs number marks the fourth straight month of employment
gains above 200,000," says Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which produces the report, agrees.
"The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market," Zandi says. "At the current pace of job growth unemployment will quickly decline. Layoffs are still receding and hiring and job openings are picking up. If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016."
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 84,000 jobs in July, down from 126,000 in June. Medium-sized businesses with 50 - 499 employees added 92,000 jobs, down from 112,000 in June. Large businesses with 500 or more employees added 14,000 jobs, essentially flat from June's 15,000 jobs.
The growth sectors of industry were also lower all around than last month: manufacturing grew by 3,000 jobs in July, down from 12,000 in June; construction grew by 12,000 jobs in July, down from 36,000 in June; goods-producing employment grew by 16,000 jobs in July, down from 43,000 jobs in June.
Friday's report from the Labor Department is expected to show gains of 230,000 jobs. The PayScale Index predicts a growth in wages of 1.9 percent for the third quarter of 2014.
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