Private employers stepped up hiring in June and new applications for unemployment benefits fell for a second straight week last week, pointing to a steadily improving labor market picture.
Still, the pace of economic growth remains lackluster, with other reports on Wednesday showing a slowing in activity in the service industries last month and a widening in the trade deficit in May.
“We are picking up a little momentum in the jobs market,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York.
Private payrolls increased 188,000 in June, the ADP National Employment Report showed, up from the 134,000 jobs added in May.
Economists had expected the report, jointly compiled by payrolls processor ADP and Moody’s Analytics, to show a gain of 160,000 private jobs. The data was released ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report on Friday.
Read more about the latest jobs data at Reuters.