ADP: Small business hiring picked up in August

NEW YORK (AP) — Small businesses increased their hiring in August, a sign that company owners may not be as cautious as many people have feared.

Payroll Service provider ADP said Thursday that small businesses added 99,000 employees last month. That was up from a revised 77,000 in July and 90,000 in June. Small companies added 64,000 jobs in May and 59,000 in April.

Small business owners have been reluctant to hire because they're uncertain about the economy and their own sales. Their caution has been a concern because it has contributed to the slowness of the economic recovery. It has also made small business a major issue in the presidential election campaign.

ADP's small business report is part of its broader look at employment at companies. It said businesses of all sizes added 201,000 jobs in August, up from a revised 173,000 in July.

The report was at odds with a survey of small business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business, which said that essentially no jobs were created by small businesses last month. The NFIB surveyed 736 of its members. The ADP report is compiled from a different source, payroll data from about 270,000 of its 500,000 business clients in the U.S.

Another look at small business hiring comes on Friday, when the Labor Department releases its report on employment during August. The government does not break down its numbers according to company size, but the report will reflect what small businesses are doing because more than 99 percent of U.S. companies are considered small.

ADP considers companies with fewer than 50 employees to be small. The government considers companies with fewer than 500 workers to be small.

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