The U.S. economy added 177,000 private, non-farm jobs in August, according to the monthly employment report released Wednesday by payroll-management firm ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted number reflects a modest decrease from July's upwardly-revised gain of 194,000 jobs, and marks a -11.94% decrease from August 2015, when 201,000 new jobs were added. Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi remains bullish about employment and the economy overall, however.

"Another month, another 177,000 jobs added. The market is sturdy and strong, and the rate of job creation is very good," Zandi said in a conference call this morning. "Unemployment and underemployment continue to decline--the economy is not quite at full employment, but we're pretty close."

This month, the construction sector shed 2,000 jobs, marking the third consecutive month that employment in the sector has contracted.

"We're seeing weakness in the construction sector, which could be weather related," Zandi added. "The single-family housing market is [performing well] however, and we should see those numbers come back up."

Roughly 35% of August's payroll gains (63,000 jobs) were made by small businesses with 49 employees or less, a figure on par with previous months. Very small firms, which employ 19 or fewer, contributed more than 38%, or 24,000 jobs, to that figure.

ADP's national employment report is often used to gauge the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, which will be released this Friday.

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