Private sector employers added 217,000 jobs last month, the largest increase in five months, according to payroll processor ADP.
In its November employment report, ADP said Wednesday that small business accounted for 37% of the growth, adding 81,000 jobs. October employment growth was revised upward by 14,000 jobs to 196,000.
The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 190,000 increase in November, with estimates ranging from 150,000 to 210,000.
“Job growth remains strong and steady,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in a news release. “The economy is fast approaching full employment and will be there no later than next summer.”
Bloomberg said companies “are adding employees and retaining those already on their payrolls as a tighter labor market makes it difficult for them to find skilled and experienced workers.”
“Federal Reserve policy makers are closely monitoring progress toward full employment as they consider whether the economy is strong enough to withstand an increase in their benchmark interest rate, a decision that may unfold in two weeks,” Bloomberg noted.
The Labor Department’s November jobs report is expected to show employment growth cooled to a more sustainable level after an October surge. Companies took on 200,000 workers last month following a 271,000 increase in October that was the most this year, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
ADP’s report showed that goods-producing industries, which include manufacturers and builders, increased headcounts by 13,000 in November. Hiring at factories climbed by 6,000, while construction companies added 16,000 jobs.
Payrolls at service providers rose by 204,000 in November, led by a 59,000 jump at professional and business services.
Companies employing 500 or more workers added 74,000 jobs, while medium-sized businesses — those with 50 to 499 workers — boosted headcount by 62,000.