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State and Nation Business

Survey: US service firms grow slower, hire more

WASHINGTON – U.S. services firms grew at a slower pace in June from May but added more jobs. The report is mixed sign for a sector that employs 90 percent of the workforce.

The Institute for Supply Management says its index of service-sector growth fell in June to 52.2. That's down from 53.7 in May and the lowest reading in more than three years. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Still, a measure of employment jumped to 54.7 from 50.1 in May. That suggests service firms hired more briskly.

The survey measures growth at businesses that cover most of the job market. They range from construction companies and health care firms to retail businesses and restaurants.

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