Businesses added just 119,000 jobs to their payrolls in April, a sharp drop from an estimated 201,000-gain in March, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
The private group's report is "a troubling sign" two days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its figures on April employment growth and unemployment, The Associated Press says.
The Wall Street Journal says ADP's data indicate "private businesses hired at an anemic pace in April." Bloomberg News notes that the figures signal that "companies added the fewest number of U.S. workers in seven months in April, a reminder the job market will take time to strengthen."
In March, according to BLS' last estimate, the nation's unemployment rate was 8.2 percent.