Only 167,000 new private sector jobs were added last month, according to ADP, while economists polled by Refinitiv expected a whopping 1.5 million.
This is the third month of job gains in a row for the private sector — 3.3 million in May and 4.3 million in June. But the low number doesn't bode well for Friday's government jobs report, which economists predict will be 1.6 million new jobs.
Economists glance at the ADP number to get an indication for the official numbers, but because the reports are based on different surveys, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison.
As per ADP, both small and large businesses added jobs, but mid-sized companies shed 25,000 positions.
Natural resources, construction, financial services and IT were among the sectors that lost jobs, while the professional and business segment added the most positions with 58,000.