(RTTNews.com) - Partly reflecting favorable weather, payroll processor ADP released a report on Thursday showing much stronger than expected U.S. private sector job growth in the month of December.
ADP said private sector employment surged up by 271,000 jobs in December after climbing by a downwardly revised 157,000 jobs in November.
Economists had expected an increase of about 178,000 jobs compared to the addition of 179,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The much stronger than expected job growth in December reflected the biggest jump in private sector employment since February of 2017.
"We wrapped up 2018 with another month of significant growth in the labor market," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
"Although there were increases in most sectors, the busy holiday season greatly impacted both trade and leisure and hospitality," she added. "Small businesses also experienced their strongest month of job growth all year."
The report said employment in the service-providing sector jumped by 224,000 jobs, as employment in the leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation, and utilities industries rose by 39,000 jobs and 33,000 jobs, respectively.
Employment in the good-producing sector also climbed by 47,000 jobs during the month, partly reflecting an increase of 37,000 construction jobs.
ADP also said employment at medium-sized businesses shot up by 129,000 jobs, while small businesses added 89,000 jobs and large businesses added 54,000 jobs.
"Businesses continue to add aggressively to their payrolls despite the stock market slump and the trade war," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "At the current pace of job growth, low unemployment will get even lower."
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.
Employment is expected to increase by 177,000 jobs in December after rising by 155,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.
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