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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. companies hired 204,000 workers in August, below what analysts had projected as well as the level set in July, a report by a payrolls processor released on Thursday showed.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast that the ADPNational Employment Report would show 220,000 jobs added in the month.
In July, 212,000 jobs were added, according to the revised data, a level that was well off the 281,000 added in June. June's reading was the strongest since November 2012.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
"Something that feels unique compared with other recoveries is how remarkably stable the jobs growth is," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, who said that as long as monthly jobs growth remained above 200,000, "the economy will be at full employment by the end of 2016."
The ADP report comes a day ahead of the closely watched nonfarm payroll report, which is expected to show 225,000 jobs added in August, up from July's 209,000.
"The tone of the broader economic data has really taken on a brighter hue," Zandi said, adding that it was consistent with GDP growth above 3 percent. "We can conclude with a pretty high level of confidence that we’ve jumped to a new level of growth."
Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli