NEW YORK – Companies added 158,000 jobs in October in the biggest gain in eight months, data from a payrolls processor showed on Thursday in a revamped report on the private sector labor market.
The historical data for the ADP National Employment Report was revised as part of the new methodology, which was used for the first time in the October report. September's increase has halved to 88,200 new jobs from an initially reported 162,000.
October's increase was the biggest jump since February and topped economists' forecasts for a gain of 135,000 jobs.
Economists often refer to the ADP report to fine-tune their expectations for the nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday, though it is not always accurate in predicting the outcome. The overhaul is meant to bring ADP's numbers more in line with the government's final revised jobs figures.
"I think markets have already begun to be quite wary of ADP's lack of predictability. I think that's exactly what's driving some of these revisions," said Bricklin Dwyer, economist at BNP Paribas.
"We've been surprised by some of the magnitudes of the increases or decreases in ADP before and they have not suggested such significant changes in nonfarm payrolls."
The closely watched nonfarm payrolls report is expected to show employment picked up in October, but not enough to prevent the unemployment rate from rising off a near four-year low.
U.S. stock index futures saw little impact from the data with Wall Street looking at a flat open in the aftermath of the massive storm that hit the U.S. northeast. The dollar rose to a session high against the yen.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr, additional reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)