WASHINGTON - The private sector created 163,000 net jobs in July, exceeding analysts' expectations but still indicating sluggish economic growth ahead of Friday's government unemployment report.
The figures released Wednesday by private payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc. showed that job growth was down compared with a revised 172,000 net new private-sector jobs in June. But the July growth was above the 120,000 economists had projected.
"This increase marks 21/2 years of positive job growth," said Carlos A. Rodriguez, ADP's chief executive officer. "Although encouraging, we'd like to see continued growth, but at more robust and consistent levels."