Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Private-sector hiring increased by approximately 135,000 jobs in September, beating projections but indicating a slowing in growth, a report by ADP Research in collaboration with Moody's Analytics said Wednesday.
Analysts said the number and three-month average is down from this point last year, suggesting that U.S. job expansion is losing steam. The report comes ahead of employment figures that will be released in the Employment Situation Summary by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
Economists interviewed by Dow Jones had anticipated 125,000 hires in September, but both numbers are down from the 157,000 hired in August.
September's ADP National Employment Report said large companies led the hiring, accounting for 52,000 jobs. Service-providing businesses provided 127,000 jobs. In that category, education accounted for 42,000 jobs.
"The job market has shown signs of a slowdown," Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement. "The average monthly job growth for the past three months is 145,000, down from 214,000 for the same time period last year."
Mark Zandi, a chief economist for Moody's Analytics, said it appears that businesses have become more "cautious" in their hiring this time of year.
"Small businesses have become especially hesitant," Zandi said in a statement. "If businesses pull back any further, unemployment will begin to rise."
The ADP report said that small businesses, companies with up to 49 employees, hired the lowest number of employees over the past month with 30,000 jobs. Medium-size businesses, those with 50 to 499 employees, added 39,000 jobs.