ADP says payrolls at companies in U.S. increase 200,000

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Companies stepped up hiring in September, indicating the U.S. job market is standing firm in the face of weaker global demand, according to a private report based on payrolls.

A 200,000 increase in employment followed a revised 186,000 rise in the prior month, figures from the ADP Research Institute showed Wednesday. The median projection of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 190,000.

The additions to company headcounts are consistent with resilient demand in the U.S. even as some industries face challenges of weaker overseas sales. Labor Department data on Friday are projected to show payroll gains accelerated this month compared with August.

"The U.S. job machine continues to produce jobs at a strong and consistent pace," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. Moody's produces the figures with ADP. "Despite job losses in the energy and manufacturing industries, the economy is creating close to 200,000 jobs per month. At this pace, full employment is fast approaching."

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 120,000 to 215,000 after a previously reported August advance of 190,000.

Goods-producing industries, which include manufacturers and builders, increased headcounts by 12,000, the ADP report showed. Hiring in construction climbed by 35,000, almost twice the 18,000 gain a month earlier. Factories cut 15,000 jobs in September, which was the biggest decline since December 2010. Payrolls at service providers increased by 188,000.

Companies employing 500 or more workers created 106,000 more jobs. Medium-sized businesses, with 50 to 499 employees, boosted headcounts by 56,000 and small companies increased payrolls by 37,000.

The ADP report is based on data from businesses with almost 24 million workers on their combined payrolls.

The September jobs report issued by the Labor Department may show private businesses added about 200,000 employees after a 140,000 increase in August, according to the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The unemployment rate probably held at 5.1 percent, the lowest since April 2008.

The improving outlook for the labor market is among the reasons Federal Reserve policy makers have said they may raise their benchmark interest rate from near zero before year-end.