Payroll firm Automatic Data Processing said the U.S. economy added 118,000 non-farm private sector jobs in November, the fourth lowest monthly gain of 2012.
ADP said November's gain fell short of October's 157,000 job gain and did not meet expectations. Economists had predicted 125,000 jobs would be gained in the month.
For the year, ADP President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Rodriquez pointed out the year-to-date average for new jobs for 2012 is 135,000 per month.
A natural disaster played a big role in the job market in the month, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said.
Zandi said Hurricane Sandy wiped out 86,000 jobs. "The manufacturing, retailing, leisure and hospitality and temporary help industries were hit particularly hard by the storm," he said in a statement.
"Abstracting from the storm, the job market turned in a good performance during the month," Zandi said.
Companies with fewer than 50 employees added 19,000 jobs in November while medium-sized firms added 33,000. Those with more than 500 employees, which ADP defines as large businesses, added 66,000 jobs in November.
ADP said the construction sector added 23,000 jobs in the month, matching gains from October. Manufacturing lost 16,000 jobs in November, while trade, transportation and utilities added 22,000.
Financial activities added 13,000 jobs and professional business services added 16,000.
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