WASHINGTON — Small businesses hired workers at a slower pace in June, the second straight month of weakening job gains despite an overall healthy economy.

Payroll company ADP said Thursday it counted 29,000 new jobs at its customers with 49 or fewer employees. This marks a decline from small business job gains of 46,000 in May and 50,000 in April. So far this year, small businesses have been creating on average 46,000 jobs a month.

ADP reported that overall private employers added 177,00 jobs last month, a slight drop-off from the average this year of 202,667 a month as companies say they're having a tougher time finding skilled workers.

The ADP report comes a day ahead of the official monthly employment report being released Friday by the Labor Department.