Private sector hiring slowed in June

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses added a modest 158,000 jobs in June, a survey found, a sign that hiring has decelerated but remains healthy enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Still, it's a big drop from May's private sector hiring pace.

Payroll processor ADP said Thursday the strongest job gains in June were in services, such as education, health care, hotels and restaurants. Manufacturers added 6,000 jobs, but construction firms and mining companies, which include oil and gas drillers, cut 6,000.

Hiring has slowed over the spring, with job gains averaging just 121,000 from March through May, according to federal government payroll data. Most economists chalk it up to a dwindling supply of workers as the unemployment rate falls.

ADP originally reported May's private sector hiring at 253,000, but today it revised that figure lower, to 230,000.

Analysts predict the government's official jobs report for June, to be released Friday, will show 179,000 jobs were added, according to data provider FactSet.