Private-sector employers added 281,000 positions in June, according to payroll processor ADP in a report Wednesday that augers well for hiring as measured by the federal government.
The ADP National Employment Report tracks well with the government's monthly jobs report, due out Thursday ahead of the Fourth of July weekend. The 281,000 positions are higher than most mainstream forecasters had projected.
"This is the best month for job growth in the ADP report since November 2012," wrote Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, in a note to investors. "Job growth was broad-based across firm sizes and industries in June."
If Thursday's jobs report follows ADP with a strong number for June, it'll help to put to rest any lingering concerns about a first-quarter 2.9 percent contraction in gross domestic product_ the sum of U.S. goods and services.
"The very good June ADP number is further proof that weaker GDP numbers recently are not a true reflection of the U.S. economy," Hoffman said. "The economy took a hit in early 2014 with the very difficult winter, but now it is expanding and the labor market recovery is finally hitting its stride."
While the services sector did best in June, there were encouraging signs in sectors that have struggled.
"The June jobs number is a welcome boost," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and CEO of the report sponsor ADP. "The number of construction jobs added was particularly encouraging, representing the highest total in that industry since February of 2006."
Most mainstream economic forecasters expect the government's June jobs report Thursday to come in around 200,000 new jobs for the month and the unemployment rate to remain at 6.3 percent.
By Kevin G. Hall
McClatchy Washington Bureau