Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. economy added more than 300,000 private-sector jobs during July, a monthly report said Wednesday -- but it was only about half the total that most analysts were expecting.
ADP and Moody's Analytics said in their report that the private sector grew by 330,000 jobs last month.
Most economists expected the report to show about 653,000 new private jobs in July.
The July figure represents a significant decline from the 680,000 that ADP and Moody's reported for June.
Wednesday's figure is the lowest monthly total for private payrolls since February.
"The labor market recovery continues to exhibit uneven progress, but progress nonetheless," ADP chief economist Nela Richardson said in a statement. "July payroll data reports a marked slowdown from the second quarter pace in jobs growth."
The assessment said leisure and hospitality, a sector that was significantly impacted by COVID-19, was one of the fastest-growing sectors, with 139,000 new jobs.
Medium-size businesses added 132,000 jobs last month, large businesses 106,000 and small businesses 91,000, the report showed.
"The slowdown in the recovery has ... impacted companies of all sizes," Richardson added. "Bottlenecks in hiring continue to hold back stronger gains, particularly in light of new COVID-19 concerns tied to viral variants.
"These barriers should ebb in coming months, with stronger monthly gains ahead as a result."