Small businesses added 44,000 jobs in the United States in August, according to a new report, but large companies shed 6,000 jobs last month, bringing the total number of new jobs to 38,000.

Payroll processing giant ADP's Small Business Report found that small companies, which it defines as having fewer than 50 employees, added 52,000 jobs in the service sector, while those in the goods-producing sector lost 8,000 jobs, leading to a net gain of 44,000 jobs.

ADP counted 50,769,000 small business jobs in August, compared to 64,829,000 in companies with 50 employees or more. In July it counted 50,725,000 small business jobs, and 64,835,000 jobs in larger businesses.

"It is interesting to note that small business continues to contribute more jobs to the economy than medium and larger businesses in the summer months," said Don McLoughlin, vice president of marketing for ADP Small Business Services. While there has been volatility in the goods-producing sector, service businesses have seen 68 straight months of job growth, he noted.

Forty-five percent of jobs in the U.S. today are in small businesses, and 60 percent of the jobs added in the last 12 months were added by small business, according to Don Larson, vice president of corporate marketing at Automatic Data Processing. "Small businesses drive the economy," he said.

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