U.S. employers created 209,000 jobs in March, slightly more than analysts expected but less than the previous month's figure, a report from Automatic Data Processing Inc., a private payrolls processor showed, on Wednesday.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected a gain of about 200,000, not enough to cut the overall unemployment rate below its current level of 8.3 percent but evidence that the recovery is continuing. The report is jointly produced with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, an economic consulting firm in St. Louis.

The gains by industry have been pretty broad-based, Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, told Bloomberg News before the report. It does feel like there's a real sense of optimism that's beginning to creep into the business sector.

Job gains for the previous two months were revised up, with January up by 9,000 to 182,000 and February up by 14,000 to 230,000.

Employment in the private, services-providing sector increased 164,000 in March, after rising a revised 183,000 in February, ADP, of Roseland, New Jersey, said.

Employment in the construction industry grew by 13,000 in March, marking the sixth consecutive monthly gain in this sector. Employment in the financial services sector increased 8,000 in February, marking the eighth consecutive monthly gain.

Employment in the private, goods-producing sector rose 45,000 last month, while manufacturers created 23,000 jobs.

Companies with 500 or more workers hired 22,000 people in March and employers with between 50 to 499 workers hired 87,000 people.

Small companies, those with fewer than 50 workers, hired 100,000 people.

Of the 87,000 jobs created by medium-sized businesses, 21,000 jobs were created by the goods-producing sector and 66,000 jobs were created by the services-providing sector.

The ADP survey tallies only private-sector jobs, while the Labor Department -- which will report on Friday -- tallies nonfarm payroll data including government workers.