The U.S. economy added 215,000 private sector jobs in December, according to the monthly report from payroll processor ADP. The gains easily beat analyst expectations for a bump of 140,000 jobs.
The ADP report is seen as a preview of tomorrow's number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sectorwise, jobs in "financial activities" climbed by 14,000 and construction jobs jumped by 39,000, potentially a sign that the housing market is recovering.
On the downside, 187,000 of the new jobs were in the service sector while only 28,000 were what ADP categorizes as "goods producing." Manufacturing positions fell by 11,000. This is relevant because, in very general terms, manufacturing jobs tend to pay better than those in the service sector.
Medium-sized businesses accounted for 102,000 jobs with large companies adding 87,000 and small businesses adding 25,000.
This is a strong improvement over November's ADP report which showed an increase of 148,000 jobs revised up from 118,000.