WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses added a solid 177,000 jobs in August, according to a private survey, suggesting that hiring remains healthy after two months of strong gains.
Payroll processor ADP says the job growth was led by services firms such as retailers, financial services firms and professional and business services, which includes higher-paying jobs like accountants, engineers and architects.
Construction firms cut jobs, and manufacturing employment was unchanged.
The steady hiring could help fuel stronger U.S. economic growth in the second half of this year. Growth slumped in the winter and spring, falling to an annual rate of just 1 percent.
The ADP data cover only private businesses and often diverge from the official government figures. Economists forecast that the nation’s jobs report for August, to be released Friday, will show a gain of 180,000 jobs.