| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 8 U.S. private employers added a
bigger-than-expected 238,000 jobs in December, the strongest
increase in 13 months, a report by a payrolls processor showed
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National
Employment Report would show a gain of 200,000 jobs, with
estimates ranging from a low of 170,000 to a high of 240,000.
"We're now going to start to see an economic recovery more
typical of the economic recoveries we've seen historically,"
said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which
jointly develops the report with ADP. "It feels like the jobs
market has kicked into a higher gear."
November's increase in jobs was revised to 229,000 from the
initially reported 215,000. With the December report, the
three-month moving average for the ADP report is above 224,000,
the highest since March 2012.
U.S. stock index futures held at slightly negative levels
following the report, while the euro fell to a one-month
low against the dollar. The dollar also extended its
gains against the yen.
U.S. Treasury bond prices extended their decline, with the
benchmark 10-year Treasury notes last trading 12/32
lower in price with a yield of 2.982 percent, up 4.5 basis
points from late on Monday.
The ADP report comes two days ahead of the government's
nonfarm payroll report, a measure of the labor market that is
more comprehensive and includes both public and private sector
employment. Analysts are looking for 196,000 jobs to have been
added in December, and a rise in private payrolls of 195,000.
Both numbers would represent slight declines from November.
Separately, applications for U.S. home mortgages rose 2.6
percent in the latest week, rebounding from a 13-year low set at
the end of last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers
Recent data has pointed to an acceleration in economic
conditions. On Tuesday, the Commerce Department said the
November U.S. trade deficit was the smallest in four years as
exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import