For the fourth consecutive month of increases amid a slow recovery from recession, the U.S. economy created 55,000 new private-sector jobs in May, payrolls firm ADP said on June 3.
The seasonally adjusted number was shy of the 60,000 new jobs expected by most analysts.
But ADP revised sharply higher the April jobs gain, to 65,000, from its original estimate of 32,000.
According to ADP, the service sector, which accounts for about 70%of output in the world's largest economy, spawned 78,000 jobs in May, the fourth month running of increases.
The goods-producing sector saw the only decline in employment, shedding 23,000 jobs.
The average increase over the past four months was a "modest" 39,000, said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisors. "The slow pace of improvement from February through May is consistent with the pause in the decline of initial unemployment claims that occurred during the winter months," he said.
The ADP private payrolls report came ahead of the highly anticipated government jobs report on June 4, which also includes government hiring. Most analysts expected the Labor Department will report 500,000 nonfarm jobs were created last month, up from 290,000 in April, and the unemployment rate slipped a notch to 9.8% from 9.9%.
Analysts said the expected surge in new jobs would come mostly from temporary government hiring for the 2010 census.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010