WASHINGTON (AP) -- The rate of hiring by U.S. businesses slowed in July but remained at a solid levels, which should help boost overall economic growth.
Payroll processor ADP says its survey shows that companies added 185,000 jobs last month, up from 229,000 in June.
Job growth since early 2014 has lifted home sales to their strongest pace in eight years. Construction firms added 15,000 jobs last month. But low oil prices weighed on the manufacturing sector, which added just 2,000 jobs.
On Friday, the government will issue its official jobs report for July. Economists forecast it will show that employers added 225,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate held at 5.3 percent for the second straight month.
The ADP survey covers only private businesses, however, and frequently diverges from the official figures.