U.S. private employers added 213,000 jobs in January, falling short of the median forecasts of analysts, a payrolls processor report showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 225,000 jobs.
December's private payrolls were revised up to 253,000 from the previously reported 241,000.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for total U.S. employment to have grown by 234,000 jobs in January, down from 252,000 in December. The unemployment rate is seen unchanged at 5.6 percent.