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(Adds details, economist quote) U.S. private employers' payrolls grew at the fastest pace in four months in August led by big gains in service-sector jobs, a report by a payrolls processor said on Wednesday.
The ADP National Employment Report showed 195,000 private-sector jobs were added last month, topping the 149,000 forecast in a Reuters poll and the largest gain since April. Private payroll gains in July were revised down to 142,000 from an originally reported 156,000 increase.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
The biggest gains came in the service sector, which added 184,000 new positions, also the largest increase since April. Goods-producing companies added 11,000 jobs.
"Businesses are holding firm on their payrolls despite the slowing economy," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said in a statement. "Hiring has moderated, but layoffs remain low. As long as this continues recession will remain at bay."
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 U.S. private payroll employment to have grown by 150,000 jobs in August, up from 148,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to have changed by 158,000.
The unemployment rate is forecast to stay steady at the 3.7 percent recorded a month earlier. (Reporting by Dan Burns Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)