U.S. private employers added 173,000 jobs in May, below economists' expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Thursday.
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Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 175,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 105,000 to 200,000.
Private payroll gains for April were revised up to 166,000 from an originally reported 156,000 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 are looking for U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 152,000 jobs in May, down from 171,000 the month before.
Total non-farm employment is expected to have risen by 162,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down to 4.9 percent from 5.0 percent recorded a month earlier.
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)