The U.S. economy added 177,000 private, non-farm jobs in April, according to the monthly employment report released this morning by payroll-management firm ADP and its partner Moody's Analytics. The seasonally adjusted result is a 31 percent decrease from March's downwardly revised 255,000 jobs, but 7 percent higher than the previous April, when 166,000 jobs were created. This April's report marks the fourth month of growth in the labor market, despite the month-over-month decrease from March's report.

“In April we saw a moderate slowdown from the strong pace of hiring in the first quarter, ” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute in a press release. “Despite a dip in job creation, the growth is more than strong enough to accommodate the growing population as the labor market nears full employment. Looking across company sizes, mid-sized businesses showed persistent growth for the past six months.”

Small businesses consisting of one to 49 employees added 61,000 jobs in April. Within that figure, firms employing fewer than 20 individuals added 28,000 jobs, and firms consisting of 20 to 49 employees added 33,000 jobs. This continues the rebound seen over the past three months in small business employment, following lackluster reports in December and January. Mid-sized businesses—consisting of 50 to 499 employees—saw the biggest employment gains in April, adding 78,000 jobs. Twenty-one percent (38,000) of payroll additions in April occurred at large businesses—consisting of more than 500 employees.

While most of April's gains can be attributed to the service-providing sector's addition of 165,000 jobs, continued growth in the manufacturing industry (in the goods-producing sector) is most notable.

Construction employment, however, started downward trajectory in March, when the sector added only 49,000 jobs. This persisted in April, with 2,000 jobs lost. As a whole, the goods-producing sector added 12,000 jobs, with 11,000 of those jobs in manufacturing. The professional and business services sector—which includes architecture and engineering firms—continued its steady growth in April, creating 72,000 new payroll positions.

“Job growth slowed in April due to a pullback in construction and retail jobs," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, in the press release. "The softness in construction is continued payback from outsized growth during the mild winter. Brick-and-mortar retailers cut jobs in response to withering competition from online merchants.”

ADP's national employment report is often used as a precursor for the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, for which the April version will be released this Friday. For more information, read the full employment report from ADP.