U.S. private employers hired 185,000 workers in July, which was the smallest increase since April and reduced expectations of a strong jobs reading in the government's payrolls report due Friday, according to a payrolls processor on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 215,000 private jobs in July.
June private payroll gains in June were revised down to 229,000 from an originally reported 237,000 increase, which was the biggest rise since December.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for total U.S. employment to have grown by 223,000 jobs in July, matching June's figure. The unemployment rate was forecast to hold for a second month at 5.3%, the lowest since April 2008.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)