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Franchised establishments in the United States had a strong December for job hiring. They added 23,300 jobs, according to ADP Research Institute, which is part of payroll service provider ADP. The country as a whole showed signs of a market in which employers keep hiring but where it is becoming more difficult to find workers. Private sector employment gained 153,000 jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, said: "Job growth remains strong but is slowing. The gap between employment growth in the service economy and losses on the goods side persists. Smaller companies are struggling to maintain payrolls while large companies are expanding at a healthy pace."
Restaurant franchises and auto dealers hired the most, with 12,800 and 4,600 respectively. Business service franchises saw the biggest drop, with the loss of 1,100 jobs in December.
"As we exit 2016, it's interesting to note that the private sector generated an average of 174,000 jobs per month, down from 209,000 in 2015," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. "And while job gains in December were slightly below our monthly average, the U.S. labor market has experienced unprecedented seven years of growth that has brought us to near full employment. As we enter 2017, the tightening labor market will likely slow the growth."