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Private sector employment in the U.S. increased by much less than expected in the month of August, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday.

ADP said private sector employment climbed by 374,000 jobs in August after rising by a downwardly revised 326,000 jobs in July.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 613,000 jobs compared to the addition of 330,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

“The Delta variant of COVID-19 appears to have dented the job market recovery,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Job growth remains strong, but well off the pace of recent months.”


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