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Job Growth Cooled A Bit In August, Report Signals

There were 176,000 more jobs on private employers' payrolls in August than the month before, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

That's slightly slower growth than the 198,000 gained from June to July. But Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, says in the ADP report that "it is steady as she goes in the job market. Job gains in August were consistent with increases experienced over the past two-plus years." Moody's works with ADP, a payroll processor, to produce the monthly report.

The ADP report is released each month just before the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest figures on the labor market. Economists expect to hear on Friday that BLS estimates there were 170,000 to 180,000 jobs added to payrolls last month, which would be a bit better than that survey's initial estimate of job growth in July (162,000 more jobs). The U.S. unemployment rate is expected to remain around July's 7.4 percent.

Also Thursday morning, the Employment and Training Administration reported there were 323,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits filed last week. That was down by 9,000 from the week before and kept claims near their lowest level since January 2008.

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