Employment at companies with fewer than 50 workers is stronger now than before the last recession, while larger businesses are still lagging behind, according to data from Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP), a manager of employer payrolls,Bloomberg reported.


Establishments with fewer than 10 employees are hiring at a faster clip than before the downturn began in December 2007, Labor Department figures show.


"Small businesses were slow out of the gate, but now they're increasingly running in stride," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. Moody's produces the employment figures with ADP.


Businesses with fewer than 50 employees added 82,000 jobs in July and 85,000 the month before, according to ADP data. Companies that size accounted for about 42 percent of U.S. employment in July, according to ADP.


"The foundation of growth is really those high-flying gazelles," Zandi said, referring to companies that offer an innovative product or service and grow exponentially in five to 10 years. Read more.