U.S. private employers added 178,000 jobs in July, below 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 185,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 151,000 to 225,000 jobs added.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised up to 191,000 from an originally reported 158,000 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 180,000 jobs in July, down from a gain of 187,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have increased by 183,000.
The unemployment rate is forecast to tick down to 4.3 percent from the 4.4 percent recorded a month earlier. (U.S. Financial Markets Team; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)