Private sector hiring slowed in September, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll processor ADP.
Private employers added 162,000 jobs in the month, ADP said.
While that beat economists' forecasts for 133,000 jobs, it nevertheless marked a slowdown from August, when ADP said private employers added 189,000 jobs.
Small companies -- those with fewer than 50 employees -- hired 81,000 people in September, while large companies with 500 or more employees hired 17,000 new workers.
Medium-sized businesses added 64,000 to their payrolls.
The ADP report is monitored closely since it comes just days before the government's official monthly job report, due Friday. But the ADP figures are often not a great predictor of what the Labor Department will report. Unlike ADP, the government report also includes the public sector, which has been shedding jobs for two years.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney predict that Friday's report will show 110,000 jobs were added in September, after accounting for 11,000 government job cuts.