Private sector employment in the U.S. increased by much more than expected in the month of January, according to a report released by payroll processor ADP on Wednesday.
ADP said private sector employment jumped by 174,000 jobs in January after decreasing by a revised 78,000 jobs in December.
Economists had expected employment to rise by 49,000 jobs compared to the loss of 123,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
“The labor market continues its slow recovery amid COVID-19 headwinds,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
The report said employment in the service-providing sector increased by 156,000 jobs, reflecting notable job growth in healthcare/social assistance, leisure/hospitality and professional/business services.
Employment in the goods-producing sector also rose by 19,000 jobs during the month, reflecting an uptick in construction jobs.
ADP also said employment at mid-sized business climbed by 84,000 jobs, while small businesses added 51,000 jobs and employment at large businesses edged up by 39,000 jobs.
“Although job losses were previously concentrated among small and midsized businesses, we are now seeing signs of the prolonged impact of the pandemic on large companies as well,” said Yildirmaz.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report, which includes both public and private sector jobs.
Economists currently expect employment to rise by 50,000 jobs in January after falling by 140,000 jobs in December. The unemployment rate is expected to hold at 8.7 percent.