U.S. private sector adds 177,000 jobs in August

Moody's economist expects jobless rate of 4.8 percent

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U.S. private employers added 177,000 jobs in August, above economists’ expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 175,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 135,000 to 225,000. Private payroll gains in July were revised up to 194,000 from an originally reported 179,000 increase.

The report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics.

The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department’s more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment. Economists polled by Reuters expect U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 178,000 jobs in August, down from an increase of 217,000 the month before.

Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said U.S. nonfarm payrolls could show growth of about 150,000 in August, but are likely to be revised higher with the economy close to full employment,

Zandi told reporters on a conference call that Wednesday’s ADP report indicated a payrolls reading of about 185,000 to 190,000 for last month. He added that a number of technical factors, including a re-tooling of automobile plants and fluctuating start dates for school, in August usually result in a lower number that is subsequently revised higher.

Zandi also said he expects the unemployment rate to dip to 4.8 percent, which is very close to full employment.

The U.S. government is scheduled to release the August employment report on Friday.

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