| WASHINGTON, July 31
WASHINGTON, July 31 U.S. small business
employment ticked down in July for a third consecutive month,
tempering the more positive signals sent by better-than-expected
private job gains last month.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on
Wednesday the average change in employment came in at negative
0.11 worker per firm.
The survey's findings are at odds with a report by payrolls
processor ADP on Wednesday showing private employers added
200,000 jobs in July, after hiring 198,000 workers in June.
The government is expected to report on Friday that
employers added 184,000 jobs in July, according to a Reuters
survey of economists, down slightly from 195,000 in June.
The unemployment rate is seen falling by a tenth of a
percentage point to 7.5 percent in July.
The NFIB survey found that 9 percent of small business
owners throughout the country added an average of 2.9 workers
per firm over the past few months. About 12 percent of business
owners reduced employment. The other 79 percent of business
surveyed reported no change in employment levels.
The share of business owners reporting hard-to-fill opening
rose one point to 20 percent last month. The portion of
businesses that used temporary workers ticked up by three points
to 15 percent.