U.S. small business owners trimmed jobs in August for the third month in a row, though the rate of decline continued to moderate, a survey released on Thursday showed.
The poll by the National Federation of Independent Business found the average number of net new jobs declined by 0.08 workers per firm in August, after a decline of 0.15 in July.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, 12 percent of owners added an average of 3.1 workers per firm. But that was tempered by the 14 percent who reduced an average 2.7 workers per firm.
The remaining 74 percent of owners made no net change in employment, according to the NFIB poll of 926 respondents.
The poll comes the day before the more comprehensive U.S. nonfarm payrolls report which is expected to show the economy added 75,000 jobs in August.
"The prospects for a good jobs report are dim," the NFIB said in its report.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, a net 5 percent of owners are planning to create new jobs over the next three months, up from 2 percent in July.
"These are more favorable signals for job creation in the coming months but are still historically weak readings," the report said.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)
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