Employment in the US private sector rose more than expected in January, posting a gain for the fourth consecutive month. Private sector employment increased by 187,000 from December to January, ADP Employment Report said on Wednesday.

Markets had expected the US private sector employment to rise by 150,000 in January.

However, a significant part of employment growth in January came from the services sector, where jobs grew at 166,000, recording an increase for twelve months in a row. Manufacturing sector posted a gain of 19,000 jobs. Small businesses accounted for more than half of private-sector employment growth in January, adding 97,000 jobs.

“This month’s ADP National Employment Report suggests solid growth of private nonfarm payroll employment heading into the New Year. The recent pattern of rising employment gains since the middle of last year appears to be intact, as the average gain over December and January (217,000) is well above the average gain over the prior six months (52,000). Strength was evident within all major industries and across all size business tracked in the ADP Report,” said Joel Prakken, Chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC.