Survey: US businesses add decent 172,000 jobs in June

WASHINGTON – U.S. companies added 172,000 jobs last month, according to a private survey, a sign that hiring may have picked up after a slowdown in April and May.

Payroll processor ADP says that service firms, such as retailers and transportation companies, added jobs at a solid pace in June. Manufacturers shed 21,000 jobs, while construction companies cut 5,000.

June’s figure was slightly higher than May’s gain of 168,000, which was revised lower.

The figures suggest that the government’s jobs report, to be released Friday, could be healthier than May’s dismal 38,000 gain. Average monthly job gains slowed to just 116,000 in March through May, about half last year’s pace.

Yet the ADP data cover only private businesses and often diverge from the official figures.