US private-sector hiring slipped to a modest level in January after a strong final quarter of 2014, payroll company ADP said Wednesday.
Private companies added 213,000 jobs last month, compared with an average of about 256,000 a month during the October-December period.
The slower pace of hiring in part can be blamed on cutbacks in the oil industry, which has been slashing investment due to the sharp fall in crude prices.
Around 85 percent of the jobs came from the services sector, and the rest in good-producing companies.
"Businesses in the energy and supplying industries are already scaling back payrolls in reaction to the collapse in oil prices, while industries benefiting from the lower prices have been slower to increase their hiring," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which helps compile the ADP survey.
"All indications are that the job market will continue to improve in 2015."
The report comes ahead of the US Labor Department's report on the private and public sector jobs market in January, to be released Friday. Analysts expect that report to show a modest slowdown as well, with a total of 235,000 net positions added and the unemployment rate holding at 5.6 percent.