There was a 163,000-gain in the number of jobs on private payrolls in July, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.
That's down from an estimated 172,000 boost in June (a number revised slightly from ADP's previous report of a 176,000-increase for that month).
The ADP report sometimes gives at least an indication of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say in its widely watched monthly report on jobs and unemployment. We'll hear that agency's July estimates on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.
But the two reports, based on different surveys, can also provide conflicting figures. ADP and BLS diverged on how things went in the labor market in June. While ADP pegged job growth at 170,000+, BLS said private employers added only 84,000 jobs to their payrolls that month.
It's very possible we'll see a similar difference about July. Business Insider is predicting BLS will say there were 106,000 jobs added to payrolls last month — and says the consensus on Wall Street is that BLS will put the figure at 100,000.
But if ADP's July figures are accurate, the report would seem to be a sign that " the job market was holding up entering the second half of the year," Bloomberg News says. And The Wall Street Journal notes that the gain "was far above economists' median expectation of 108,000."