Private sector hiring in August dropped from its July rate but still remained relatively strong, according to a report from Automatic Data Processing. ADP's survey found that 204,000 new jobs were added in August.

In July, the firm reported that 212,000 new positions had been filled. August's hiring numbers also fell below economists' predictions of a 223,000 employment increase, according to the Chicago Tribune. However, the report was hailed as relatively good news, marking the fifth consecutive month of job gains above 200,000. ADP President Carlos Rodriguez called the streak of employment above 200,000 an encouraging sign for the economy.

Goods staging a comeback
The service sector added far more jobs than goods-producing fields, with 164,000 and 41,000 new positions, respectively. The number of goods-producing jobs created in August, though relatively small, was greater than the number added in July. Last month, only 23,000 goods-producing jobs were gained. Manufacturing benefited the most in the sector. According to ADP, 23,000 jobs were filled in the industry in August, the highest number since December 2012. Construction job gains also increased slightly, to 15,000.

Service jobs dropping
Service sector employment over the month was down significantly from July, a month that saw 190,000 new jobs added. Professional and business services led growth in the sector. The industry gained 51,000 new jobs in August, 9,000 fewer than it did in July. Trade, transportation and utilities, which provided 43,000 new positions in July, added 28,000 in August. The gain of 5,000 jobs in financial services was around half the industry's growth in July, ADP reported.

Size matters 
Another change from July was the size of the businesses adding employees. Last month, small and midsize companies dominated job growth, adding 89,000 and 88,000, respectively. In August, small business hiring dropped to 78,000, while midsize companies added 75,000. Employment at large organizations, however, expanded significantly over the month. Companies with more than 500 employees added 52,000 in August, compared to just 35,000 in July. The largest companies – those with more than 1,000 employees – made up most of that growth, adding 47,000 to payroll.

Reasons for optimism
The Chicago Tribune reported that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' report for the month could hold even more good news for the job market. According to the news source, the BLS release could announce as many as 230,000 new jobs in the country, including public sector employment, an increase from last months' gain of 209,000.

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