The U.S. economy added a better-than-anticipated number of private sector jobs last month, while initial claims for jobless benefits fell last week.
Data released by Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP) on Thursday indicated that private employers hired 201,000 new workers in August. Economists had forecast just 145,000 new hires for the month, Dow Jones noted.
ADP also revised upward July’s number of new hires to 173,000 from a previous estimate of 163,000.
According to the payroll processing firm, small businesses hired 99,000 new employees last month. That compared to 86,000 for medium-size business and just 16,000 at large businesses.
Manufacturing employment remained sluggish, the report found, with factories adding just 3,000 workers, compared to services, which increased hiring by 185,000.
The ADP data came as the Labor Department announced that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 365,000 last week, down 12,000 from the prior week.
That beat economists’ estimates of 370,000, Bloomberg noted. However, the government revised the prior week’s estimate upward, from an earlier report of 374,000 new benefit claims, to 377,000.