ADP: U.S. Firms Added 218,000 July Jobs

4th Straight Month Of Significant Employment Gains

July Jobs ReportThe private sector in the U.S. generated 218,000 new jobs in July – capping four straight months of significant employment gains – according to data released by payroll services firm ADP. Although the July ADP figure fell short of most economists’ projections, the increase is considered yet another sign of economic strengthening.

“At the current pace of job growth, unemployment will quickly decline,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which works with ADP to produce the monthly report. “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.”

Services providers contributed the bulk of the jobs – 202,000 – while goods-producing companies added 16,000, ADP said. More specifically, firms in the professional services sector brought in 61,000 jobs, retail/shipping/utilities companies contributed 52,000 and construction businesses added 12,000 positions. The manufacturing sector, though, added just 3,000 jobs. Small businesses (1-49 employees) were responsible for 84,000 jobs, medium-sized businesses (50-499) added 92,000, and large firms (500 or more) contributed 41,000 positions.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the official government July jobs report tomorrow morning. Analysts expect the report will show the U.S. unemployment rate holding steady at 6.1%.