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Service Sector Still Growing, Though Slowly, Survey Shows

The service sector of the economy, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the jobs on private payrolls, "grew in August for the 21st consecutive month," according to data collected by the private Institute for Supply Management.

The institute's "non-manufacturing" index expanded by 0.6 percentage points, to 53.3. A reading above 50 signals that the service sector is expanding.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.