[NEW YORK] US private employers added 257,000 jobs in December, well above economists' expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 192,000 jobs, with estimates ranging from 150,000 to 230,000. The increase was the largest since December 2014.
Private payroll gains in the month earlier were revised down to 211,000 from an originally reported 217,000 increase.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
The ADP figures come ahead of the US Labour Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.
Economists polled by Reuters are looking for US private payroll employment to have grown by 195,000 jobs in December, down from 197,000 the month before. Total non-farm employment is expected to be 200,000.
The unemployment rate is forecast to stay steady at 5.0 per cent from the 5.0 per cent recorded a month earlier.