The U.S. private sector created fewer jobs than expected in January, but the figure is still in-line with the average monthly growth throughout last year, 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 175,000 in January, a drop from the downwardly revised 227,000 gain in December. The number came in below analysts’ expectations for a gain of 180,000.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Cold and stormy winter weather continued to weigh on the job numbers. Underlying job growth, abstracting from the weather, remains sturdy. Gains are broad based across industries and company sizes, the biggest exception being manufacturing, which shed jobs, but that is not expected to continue.”

The Labor Department will release the government's January jobs report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. EST. Employers probably added 185,000 jobs last month, according to economists polled by Thomson Reuters. This is lower than the 214,000 per month average from August through November, but probably will be enough for the Federal Reserve to continue tapering. The unemployment rate is seen holding at 6.7 percent.