The Obama administration expects job creation to accelerate and Congress to approve financial reform legislation, White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers said on Sunday.

Employers created jobs in March at the fastest rate in three years as private firms stepped up hiring. It was the strongest signal yet the economic recovery is on more solid footing.

Speaking on ABC's This Week program, the former Treasury Secretary said employment figures fluctuate from month to month but steps taken by the administration to support the economy are paying off.

I would expect continued progress in job creation, Summers said.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 162,000 and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent for a third straight month, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Private employers hired more workers than expected.

Additionally, Summers said he expects the Senate to approve a regulatory reform bill, saying the measure sponsored by Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd makes a compelling case.

It won't be easy, Summers said, adding that the administration was confident that a sufficient majority would vote to support it.

Dodd's bill would set up a council of regulators to oversee financial risk, create a process for liquidating distressed financial firms, crack down on derivatives markets, and take other steps meant to avert another financial crisis.

Increasing exports is the best way to bring back lost manufacturing jobs, Summers told CNN in a separate interview, adding that commercial practices in a number of countries, including China, must be addressed to achieve this.

Summers declined to say whether the U.S. saw China as manipulating its currency.

(Reporting by John Crawley; editing by Todd Eastham)