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VOL. 129 | NO. 173 | Friday, September 05, 2014

US Companies Add Jobs at Solid Pace in August

CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. businesses added jobs at a healthy pace in August, according to a private survey, the fifth straight month of solid gains.

Payroll processer ADP said Thursday that private employers added 204,000 jobs last month, down from 212,000 in July, which was revised slightly lower. Job gains above 200,000 are usually enough to lower the unemployment rate.

The figures suggest that the government's jobs report, to be released Friday, will also show a solid increase. But the ADP numbers cover only private businesses and sometimes diverge from the government's more comprehensive report.

Economists surveyed by FactSet forecast that the government's report will show that 220,000 jobs were added in August, while the unemployment rate slipped to 6.1 percent.

"The job gains are across the board in terms of payscale, which is very encouraging," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which helps compile the report.

Manufacturers added 23,000 jobs in August, the most since December 2012, the ADP report said. Construction firms added 15,000. Professional and business services, which includes higher-paying sectors such as engineers, architects and accountants, gained 51,000, down from 60,000 in July.

Other data released Thursday also pointed to healthy hiring. Applications for unemployment benefits ticked up slightly to 302,000 last week, but that figure is at pre-recession levels and is consistent with strong job gains.

According to government data, employers have added an average of 230,000 jobs this year, up from 194,000 in 2013. That's lowered the unemployment rate to 6.2 percent in July from 6.7 percent at the end of last year.

Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at twitter.com/ChrisRugaber

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 70 134 16,547
MORTGAGES 72 144 21,576
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 9 35 4,301
BUILDING PERMITS 209 209 39,587
BANKRUPTCIES 80 149 15,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 15 28 5,519
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 117 201 23,774
MARRIAGE LICENSES 14 51 5,086

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