July 31, 2014 / 4:55 PM / in 3 years

U.S. small businesses barely add staff in July - NFIB

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) - U.S. small businesses narrowly expanded their payrolls in July, according to survey results that may point to a slowdown in hiring across the economy.

Small business owners added only 0.01 worker per firm during the month, down from 0.05 worker per firm in June, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said on Thursday.

The U.S. Labor Department is due on Friday to release its employment report for July, which is expected to show 232,000 new jobs added to payrolls in July, down from 288,000 in June. The U.S. unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 6.1 percent in July.

Small businesses have now been adding workers for 10 straight months, the longest stretch of gains since 2006, NFIB said.

The NFIB survey was based on the responses from 1,645 small business owners. (Reporting by Moriah Costa, editing by G Crosse)

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