Companies in the U.S. boosted employment in June by the most in six months, signaling the job market is strengthening, according to a private report based on payrolls.
The 237,000 increase followed a revised 203,000 rise in the prior month, figures from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Wednesday. The June gain exceeded the Bloomberg survey median projection of 44 economists that called for a 218,000 advance.
Steady, broad-based growth in hiring indicates a pickup in wages is in train, which bodes well for consumer spending and the economy. Labor Department data on Thursday may show private payrolls climbed by more than 200,000 workers last month, according to the Bloomberg survey.
“The U.S. job machine remains in high gear,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody’s produces the figures with ADP. “The current robust pace of job growth is double that needed to absorb the growth in the working age population.”
Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 190,000 to 274,000. The prior month’s figure was previously reported as an advance of 201,000.
Hiring in construction jumped by 19,000 in June, while factories added 7,000 jobs, the ADP report showed.
Payrolls at service providers grew by 225,000 after a 192,000 May increase.
Companies employing 500 or more workers added 32,000 jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, took on 86,000 workers and small companies increased payrolls by 120,000.
The ADP report is based on data from businesses with almost 24 million workers on their combined payrolls.
The June jobs report issued by the Labor Department may show private businesses added about 225,000 employees after a 262,000 increase in May, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
Overall payrolls, which include government agencies, rose by 230,000 workers after climbing by 280,000 the prior month, the survey projections also showed. The unemployment rate probably dropped to 5.4 percent, the lowest since 2008.
Sustained growth in hiring and rising wages is allowing households to spend more freely. Consumer purchases in May rose 0.9 percent, the biggest gain since August 2009, and incomes climbed 0.5 percent for a second month, Commerce Department figures showed last week.
Households are feeling upbeat about employment prospects as more respondents than at any time since early 2008 said jobs were plentiful, a Conference Board report showed on Tuesday. Consumer confidence in June matched the second-highest level in almost eight years, according to the New York-based private research group.
The improving outlook for the labor market is among the reasons Federal Reserve policy makers have said they may begin to raise the benchmark interest rate this year from near zero, where it has been since December 2008.
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