Job growth in the private sector continued to slow in August, with companies adding 132,000 jobs, according to an ADP job report released Wednesday.
“Our data suggests a shift toward a more conservative pace of hiring, possibly as companies try to decipher the economy’s conflicting signals,” ADP’s chief economist Nela Richardson said in a statement. “We could be at an inflection point, from super-charged job gains to something more normal.”
The August numbers are down from July, when the private sector added almost 270,000 jobs, according to ADP. Job growth is also much lower than anticipated, with economists having predicted 225,000 jobs added, according to CNN Business.
The slowdown comes as debate continues over where the economy is headed and whether a recession is imminent.
After hitting a 40-year high of 9.1 percent in June, inflation dipped slightly in July to 8.5 percent, aided by a drop in gas prices.
While Americans’ views on the economy improved in August, they remained negative overall, according to a Gallup poll also released on Wednesday. Confidence in the economy rose from -51 in July to -39 in August, according to Gallup’s index, which runs from -100 to +100.
The government’s more comprehensive job report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes out on Friday.