WASHINGTON (AP) -- A private survey shows U.S. businesses kept hiring at a modest pace in July, suggesting the job market could be improving after three sluggish months.
Payroll provider ADP says businesses added 163,000 jobs last month. That's slightly below a revised total of 172,000 jobs it reported for June.
The report only covers hiring in the private sector and excludes government job growth. The Labor Department will offer a more complete picture of July hiring on Friday.
The ADP survey offered some hope that hiring is picking up. But it has often deviated sharply from the government report. In June, the Labor Department said employers added just 80,000 jobs, less than half the figure reported by ADP.