WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. service companies grew at a slightly slower pace in October than September because of a decline in new orders. But a measure of employment rose, indicating services firms hired more.
The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 54.2. That's down from a six-month high of 55.1 in September. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The report measures growth in a broad range of businesses from retail and construction companies to health care and financial services firms. The industries covered employ about 90 percent of the work force.
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