Survey: December Saw Best Job Growth in a Year

Good sign for private sector hiring

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Job seekers read event schedule materials during the Job Hunters Boot Camp at the San Mateo Event Center on October 16, 2013 in San Mateo, Calif.

The private sector in the U.S. added 238,000 in December, the strongest growth in more than a year, payroll company ADP said Wednesday in its monthly estimate.

The report, which was issued in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, showed that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees had a particularly brisk month of hiring, adding 108,000 jobs — the most since the beginning of 2012. The report also underscores the nascent recovery in the construction sector, which added 48,000 jobs in December, the most since 2006.

Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics, lauded the numbers, saying “the job market ended 2013 on a high note.”

“Job gains are broad-based across industries, most notably in construction and manufacturing,” Zandi said. “It appears that businesses are growing more confident and increasing their hiring.”

On Friday, the Labor Department will issue its official estimate of total job growth for December 2013.