Service Sector Growth Slows, Employment Mixed

employment service sector mixed
employment service sector mixed

By Richard Leong and Lucia Mutikani

(Reuters) - Growth in the U.S. service sector was steady in September and private hiring picked up, suggesting the economy was not yet slipping into recession.

Optimism over Wednesday's data, however, was soured somewhat by news that employers last month planned to lay off the most workers in more than two years. The bulk of the intended cutbacks, however, are in the U.S. military and at Bank of America and are not directly related to recent weakness in the economy.