Companies added 263,000 jobs for the month, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said. That was well above the 185,000 expected from economists surveyed by Reuters and also better than the 245,000 reported for February.
The February number was revised significantly lower, however, from the originally reported 298,000.
Professional and business services was the leading sector, with 57,000, while leisure and hospitality added 55,000 and health care was up 46,000. Manufacturing payrolls grew by 30,000 and trade, transportation and utilities rose by 34,000.
In terms of company size, fewer than 50 employees was the biggest growth area, with 118,000. Firms that employ 50 to 499 workers added 100,000.
“Job growth is off to a strong start in 2017,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “The gains are broad-based but most notable in the goods producing side of the economy including construction, manufacturing and mining.”
The report comes amid hopes that President Donald Trump can deliver on his pro-growth agenda of lower taxes, less regulation and more infrastructure spending. Economic data points have been mixed lately, with sentiment surveys outpacing actual hard data of activity.
Job growth has been a particular strength so far, and the ADP report could fuel higher expectations.
The report comes two days before the Labor Department releases its closely watched employment report for March.
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