(USA TODAY) -- The private sector added 216,000 jobs in November, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday, possibly signaling the government this week will report a strong rebound in hiring after last month’s modest gains.
Economists expected 169,000 job gains, according to a Bloomberg survey. They predict the Labor Department on Friday will record 180,000 additional jobs in the public and private sectors.
That report will be the last before the Federal Reserve considers an anticipated interest rate hike at a mid-December meeting. The Fed has held its key rate steady since raising it in late 2015 for the first time in nine years.
ADP tries to predict Labor’s private-sector job gains and came within 5,000 in October, but has missed by an average of more than 35,000 the past two years.
In November, small businesses added 37,000 jobs, mid-size ones, 89,000 and large companies, 90,000.
Trade, transportation and utilities led the gains, with 69,000, in a sign that retailers brought on holiday staffs early this year because of the tight labor market. Professional and business services added 68,000 jobs, education and health care, 43,000, and leisure and hospitality, 38,000. Construction companies added 2,000 jobs and manufacturers,still beset by the oil industry’s troubles and a sluggish global economy, cut 10,000.
“Businesses hired aggressively in November and there is little evidence that the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election dampened hiring,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which helps ADP compile the report.
Hurricane Matthew, which buffeted the Southeast in October, appeared to suppress employment gains somewhat in Labor’s report that month because the government only counts those workers who are paid during the week it conducts its survey. As a result, there could be a positive snapback effect in its November survey, says economist Andrew Hunter of Capital Economics. ADP, by contrast, counts workers as long as they're on the payroll and so was likely unaffected by the storm and its aftereffects.
Overall, average monthly job gains have slowed to 181,000 this year from 229,000 in 2015. Economists say that’s a natural byproduct of a near-normal 4.9% unemployment rate that spells fewer available workers for employers.