In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 195,000, while TrimTabs put the number at a relatively close 182,000. In May, though, the disparity was far greater, with the government asserting 195,000 while TrimTabs estimated 135,000.
David Santschi, the firm's CEO, attributed the slow July to an increase in mortgage rates that he said slowed the economy.
The payrolls number is critical in that it is part of the baseline the Federal Reserve uses in devising monetary policy.
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The U.S. central bank currently is creating money to buy $85 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys. Fed officials have said, though, that the purchases likely will be tapered this year if the economic data continue to improve.
Gross domestic product grew a better-than-expected 1.7 percent in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday, though the the first quarter growth was reduced to a scant 1.1 percent.
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"The economy is much weaker than most investors realize," Santschi said in a statement. "Most Wall Street economists expect the Fed to scale back the pace of money printing in September, but I suspect any changes will be very modest because the economy is so fragile."
TrimTabs isn't the only outfit with a dim view of July jobs, though.
Small-business payroll firm SurePayroll said hiring actually decreased 0.1 percent for the month.
That also comes in sharp contrast with the findings from ADP, which said firms with fewer than 50 employees actually led hiring, with 82,000 new positions.
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In fact, SurePayroll president Michael Alter called the current state a "jobless recovery" in which small companies are being helped more by technological improvements.
"We've seen this trend for a while now, and our data this month really supports the idea that small businesses are leveraging technology to be more efficient, and so they're able to grow without hiring," Alter said.
In addition to slow payroll growth, Alter said salaries fell 0.2 percent. TrimTabs said wages and salaries grew just 0.4 percent in June, the slowest of the year.
—By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.