Private Employers Provide Fewer New Jobs Than Hoped

Not a good economic sign


U.S. private employers added fewer jobs than expected in September and mortgage applications remained near flat in the latest week, underscoring expectations that growth in the world's biggest economy will stay steady but sluggish.

U.S. private employers added 166,000 jobs last month, according to payroll processor ADP's National Employment Report. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected a gain of 180,000 jobs. August's private payrolls gains were revised to 159,000 from the previously reported 176,000.

But while the current numbers don't yet include any effects from the federal government shutdown that began this week, economists fretted upcoming figures could take a hit from the impasse in Congress.