U.S. Private Sector Adds 234,000 Jobs in January

By Austen Hufford Features Dow Jones Newswires

Hiring at private U.S. employers grew more than expected in January, according to a report.

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Firms across the country added 234,000 workers in January, according to payroll processor Automatic Data Processing Inc. and forecasting firm Moody's Analytics.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the addition of 193,000 jobs.

"Service providers were firing on all cylinders, posting their strongest gain in more than a year," said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of ADP Research Institute, in the report.

The December figure was revised down to 242,000 from 250,000.

The ADP report is based on private-payroll data in addition to government data.

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Still, the report raised concerns over employee shortages given the unemployment rate.

"The job market juggernaut marches on," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "If it falls short, it is likely because businesses can't find workers to fill all the open job positions."

Growth was driven by midsize and large companies while job growth at smaller firms slowed slightly.

The ADP report comes ahead of the monthly jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. Economists expect nonfarm jobs to rise by 177,000 for January, compared with 148,000 the prior month.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 31, 2018 08:56 ET (13:56 GMT)