The increase shows strength in the service sector, which added 185,000 jobs last month.
Private job growth was a little better than expected in July, though all of the new positions came from the services sector, according to the latest report from ADP and Moody's Analytics.
Companies added 179,000 positions for the month, topping Reuters estimates of 170,000. That was a slight increase from June, which saw an upwardly revised 176,000, 4,000 more than originally reported.
The bad news was that job growth was unbalanced. Services added 185,000 positions, but the goods-producing sector actually lost 6,000 workers. Construction posted a loss that matched that 6,000 number, while manufacturing added 4,000, which actually was a turnaround from June when the sector lost 15,000.
"Job growth remains strong, but is moderating as the economy approaches full employment. Businesses are having a more difficult time filling open job positions, which are near record highs," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, said in a statement. "The nation's biggest economic problem will soon be the lack of available workers."
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