Payroll firm Automatic Data Processing Inc. said the U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs June to July, far more than the 120,000 jobs economist predicted.
June's gain of 176,000 private sector jobs was revised to 172,000, but the number for the second consecutive month still exceeded expectations.
July's gain came in higher than the low for the year of 119,000 jobs added March to April and lower than the year's high of 216,000 added January to February. It is still roughly half the 325,000 private-sector jobs added to the economy in December 2011.
The monthly report anticipates Friday's government report on jobs, which includes private and public sector employment.
ADP said firms with fewer than 50 employees in July added 73,000 jobs, while companies with 51 to 499 employees added 67,000 jobs. Firms with more than 500 workers added 23,000 jobs, providing more balanced contributions between small-, medium- and large-sized firms that has been seen in a while.
ADP said 148,000 of the new jobs were in service-providing businesses while goods-producing firms added 15,000.
Manufacturing employment gained 6,000 jobs in July after adding 9,000 in June. Construction added 5,000 jobs, the second consecutive month of gains.
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