Hiring slowed sharply in August as a new surge in coronavirus infections slammed the brakes on the economic recovery.
U.S. employers added just 235,000 jobs last month, a sharp slowdown from the torrid pace of hiring in June and July.
"The labor market recovery has downshifted," said Nela Richardson, chief economist for the payroll processing company ADP. "The U.S. economy is facing increasing headwinds as the pandemic wears on and the delta variant creates uncertainty."
The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July.