Hiring at private U.S. employers grew more than expected in December, according to a report, as the busy holiday shopping season prompted businesses to hire in order to keep up with demand.
Firms across the country added 250,000 workers to their ranks in December, 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 195,000 jobs.
The November total was revised down to 185,000 from 190,000.
The ADP report is based on private-payroll data in addition to government data.
"Robust Christmas sales prompted retailers and delivery services to add to their payrolls," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics.
"We've seen yet another month where the labor market has shown no signs of slowing," vice president and co-head of ADP Research Institute Ahu Yildirmaz.
Growth was driven by small businesses which added more than double their monthly average for the past six months.
The ADP report comes ahead of the monthly jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The BLS report is expected to show slower growth in employment in December compared to the strong gains seen in November. Economists expect nonfarm jobs to rise by 180,000 for December, compared with 228,000 the prior month.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 04, 2018 09:59 ET (14:59 GMT)