U.S. private employers added just 13,000 jobs in June, according to a report published Wednesday that suggested expectations of a big drop in the government's upcoming nonfarm payrolls report were on target.
The ADP Employer Services report also said May's gain was revised marginally higher to 57,000 from the original estimate of 55,000.
That revision was basically the only good news, however, in a report that under-shot expectations of a rise of 60,000 private-sector jobs in June.
It also supported fears that the short and tepid recovery from the worst recession since the 1930s was fizzling.
"There is really no way to characterize this number other than disappointing," said Macroeconomic Advisers LLC chairman Joel Prakken, whose firm jointly developed the ADP report. "The overall number tells you that the recovery in the jobs market is very, very sluggish at this point."
The ADP figures come ahead of the government's much more comprehensive labor market report Friday.
That report is expected to show a fall in nonfarm payrolls of 110,000 in June overall, as many temporary workers hired to complete the government's decennial census were let go.
"It is now generally expected that the peak level of census employment was in May and that in June there will be a decline in census hiring," Prakken said. "And for that reason I think it's very likely that the number reported Friday is going to be a negative number."