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US private-sector jobs growth ticks higher

[WASHINGTON] The US private sector added slightly more jobs in October than in September, extending an upward trend as the labour market gradually improves, payroll company ADP said on Wednesday.

Private payrolls rose by 230,000 in October, following a revised 225,000 increase in September, previously estimated at 213,000.

The August reading was sharply revised lower, to 162,000, from the prior 202,000 figure.

"Employment continues to trend upward as we begin the last quarter of 2014, driven mostly by small to mid-sized companies," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive of ADP, in a statement.

The ADP data was a bit stronger than the 220,000 net new jobs expected by analysts.

The data came ahead of Friday's Labour Department jobs report for October, a key indicator of the health of the world's largest economy.

According to the consensus estimate, the economy added 235,000 jobs last month, slowing from 248,000 in September. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.9 per cent, a six-year low.

"The job market is steadily picking up pace," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which helps produce the ADP report.

"At this pace of job growth unemployment and underemployment is quickly declining. The job market will soon be tight enough to support a meaningful acceleration in wage growth."