Private employers added 179,000 jobs in April, while payrolls for March were revised up modestly, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
The ADP Employer Services report came in shy of economists' expectations for a gain of 198,000, according to a Reuters survey. March private payrolls were revised up to an increase of 207,000 from a previously reported 201,000.
The report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC.
U.S. stock index futures lost a bit more ground immediately following the data before later turning positive.
The figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report on Friday, which includes both public and private sector employment.
Certainly people will look into this and be pessimistic or cautious about Friday's numbers, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
The breakdown from the release did show some strength in small and medium businesses. The weakness was actually in large businesses, and that is unusual. But certainly optimistic for a broader strengthening in employment.
Friday's report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm payrolls of 186,000 in April, based on a Reuters poll of analysts, and a gain of 200,000 in private payrolls. For details, see
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr, additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)