The U.S. private sector saw the strongest month for job growth in December, surpassing the record set in November, ADP Employer Services reported on Wednesday. Markets look to ADP's report on private-sector payrolls to provide some guidance on the government’s monthly jobs estimate, which includes information on both private- and public-sector payrolls.
New Jersey-based ADP said U.S. private-sector employment increased by a solid 238,000 in December, up from the upwardly revised 229,000 gain in November. The number topped analysts’ expectations of a 215,000 gain.
Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “The job market ended 2013 on a high note. Job growth meaningfully accelerated and is now over 200,000 per month. Job gains are broad-based across industries, most notably in construction and manufacturing. It appears that businesses are growing more confident and increasing their hiring.”
The Labor Department will release the government's December jobs report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. EST. Employers probably added 195,000 jobs last month, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. This would still represent a modest improvement from the three-month average pace of payroll gains of 193,000 through November. The unemployment rate is seen holding at a five-year low of 7.0 percent.