The private sector added 91,000 jobs in September, according to the latest national employment report from payroll giant ADP.

Many of the job gains occurred in small and midsized businesses, with small businesses of less than 50 employees adding 60,000 jobs and midsized businesses with 50 to 499 employees hiring 36,000 more employees. Large businesses with 500 or more employees shed 5,000 jobs, however. The service-providing sector is where the bulk of the job gains occurred, with 90,000 jobs added there, but only 1,000 jobs in the goods-producing sector.

Among small businesses, the service sector added 55,000 jobs, while the goods-producing sector increased by 5,000 jobs.

“Small businesses overall showed positive growth for the 22nd straight month and averaged 73,000 jobs a month for the past 12 months,’ said ADP CEO Gary Butler in a statement. “Professional business services, education and health care, and leisure services led all other sectors in new jobs added.”

Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, which compiles the reports with ADP, predicted that the September employment figures that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release on Friday will also show job gains of about 45,000 workers as a result of the settlement of the Verizon telecommunications workers strike.

“In the private sector alone my expectation is that Friday’s number for private employment should be above the numbers in ADP’s release,” he said. However, he predicted that the job gains will probably not be enough to lower the unemployment rate. He sees a slowdown in manufacturing and construction employment, although recent data on light vehicle sales shows encouraging signs for more jobs in the auto industry. He believes that momentum for job gains in the economy will pick up next year and keep the unemployment rate from creeping back up.

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