WASHINGTON — U.S. companies added a healthy 156,000 jobs in July with larger firms accounting for most of the gains, a private survey found.

The payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that there was solid hiring in the construction, transportation, health care and leisure and hospitality sectors.

But smaller companies are struggling to find talent after years of robust job growth. The survey counted 11,000 new jobs at its small-business customers, those with up to 49 employees. But ADP’s smallest customers, those with up to 19 employees, cut 18,000 jobs.

The slim overall increase in hiring followed two months of job cuts — small companies cut 13,000 jobs in June and 34,000 in May, ADP said. That followed a gain of 66,000 in April.

Small-business hiring

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