A survey of private companies by payroll provider ADP on Wednesday signaled a slowdown in hiring two days before the government issues the April jobs report. Yet ADP's report is causing few economists to scale back their forecasts for Friday.

The key reason is that the two surveys tend to diverge. And most economists say the government's figures tend to be more reliable.

ADP derives its numbers from payroll data it processes for about 344,000 U.S. companies. The Labor Department compiles its numbers by surveying 140,000 employers — both private companies and government agencies.

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