WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US private sector revved up hiring in June with broad-based gains that suggest the economy is picking up steam, payrolls company ADP said on Wednesday.
The private sector added 281,000 jobs in June, surging higher from a lacklustre 179,000 in May.
It was the strongest monthly gain since November 2012. Analysts expected a much smaller rise of 200,000 jobs.
"The job market is steadily improving," said Mr Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which helps compile the ADP report. "Judging from the job market, the economic recovery remains fully intact and is gaining momentum."
The biggest driver in job gains was in the professional and business services sector, which added 77,000 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities jobs rose by 50,000, while construction added 36,000.
Mr Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive of ADP, said the number of construction jobs added was "particularly encouraging" because it was that industry's highest total since February 2006.
The data came ahead of the Labour Department's official June jobs report. The data is expected to show ib Thursday that the unemployment rate remained at a six-year low of 6.3 per cent, and the economy added 210,000 jobs, keeping job growth above 200,000 for the fifth month in a row.