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U.S. Private Sector Job Growth Slows Much More Than Expected In May

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Private sector employment in the U.S. crept up by much less than expected in the month of May, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday.

ADP said private sector employment edged up by 27,000 jobs in May after spiking by a downwardly revised 271,000 jobs in April.

Economists had expected employment to increase by 180,000 jobs compared to the jump of 275,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

"Following an overly strong April, May marked the smallest gain since the expansion began," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.

The much weaker than expected job growth came as the addition of 71,000 service-providing jobs was partly offset by the loss of 43,000 goods-producing jobs, including a drop of 36,000 construction jobs.

The report also showed employment at large businesses climbed by 68,000 jobs and mid-sized businesses added 11,000 jobs, but employment at small businesses slumped by 52,000 jobs.

"Job growth is moderating," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "Labor shortages are impeding job growth, particularly at small companies, and layoffs at brick-and-mortar retailers are hurting."

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly jobs report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.

Employment is expected to climb by 185,000 jobs in May after surging up by 263,000 jobs in April, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6 percent.

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