According to ADP, the US economy added 374,000 private sector jobs in August, compared with analyst expectations of 613,000. That's a huge miss.
Job gains were concentrated in mid-sized and large business, as well as in the leisure and hospitably industry.
ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson said on a call with reporters that the August numbers are pointing to a slowing pace in the jobs recovery, even though she still believes hiring will be strong in the second half of the year.
A year and a half into the pandemic, this is a reminder that it's still really hard for economists to forecast how this new economy will function with all of its gummed up cogs. It might also inject some skepticism into the consensus forecast for the government jobs report Friday, for which analysts are predicting 750,000 jobs.
The ADP and government reports are not correlated, but with the private payroll numbers coming out first, they could serve as a barometer for how the rest of the week might go.