Private sector employers added 154,000 jobs in September, although there was some softening in certain sectors, according to payroll giant ADP.

Small businesses gained 34,000 jobs in September, down from 68,000 in August, according to ADP’s National Employment Report. The 34,000 jobs included 17,000 at businesses with between one and 19 employees and 17,000 at companies with between 20 and 49 employees.

Midsize businesses with between 50 and 499 employees added 56,000 jobs in September, up from 40,000 in August.

Large businesses with 500 employees or more added 64,000 jobs in September, down from 67,000 in August. The total included 8,000 jobs gained at companies with between 500 and 999 employees, and 56,000 at larger businesses with 1,000 employees or more.

Service-providing employment rose by 151,000 jobs in September. The professional and business services sector, which includes accounting, tax and other types of services, contributed 45,000 jobs in September, down from 53,000 jobs in August. The combined trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 15,000 jobs in September, down from 26,000 jobs added in August. Financial activities added 11,000 jobs in September, down from a gain of 15,000 jobs in August. Franchise businesses added 26,000 jobs.

Goods-producing employers added 3,000 jobs in September, after subtracting 9,000 jobs in August. The construction industry added 11,000 jobs in September, following 2,000 jobs lost in August. Manufacturing jobs, however, declined 6,000 in September, after losing 4,000 in August.

“The gains were broadly distributed across industries and company sizes with a little bit of variation,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which helps compile the National Employment Report with ADP. “As has been the case for almost two years, the energy sector is reducing payrolls. Parts of manufacturing continue to be weak. The information services industry, largely old-line media, continues to lay off, but other than that, we’re seeing continued solid job growth.”

He noted that job openings are at record highs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Layoffs are about as low as they get,” he said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

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