WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. private payrolls recorded their biggest increase in seven months in September, boosted by hiring at construction sites and in the services sector, pointing to sustained labor market strength that should continue to underpin economic growth.
Private payrolls rose by 230,000 jobs in September, the largest gain since February, the ADP National Employment Report showed on Wednesday, after an upwardly revised 168,000 increase in August. Economists polled by Reuters forecast private payrolls advancing by 185,000 last month following a previously reported 163,000 increase in August.
The ADP report, which is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics, was published ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report for September due on Friday.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 185,000 in September after jumping 201,000 in August. The unemployment rate is forecast to fall one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8 percent, an 18-year low first hit in May.
While the ADP report has a poor record predicting the private-payrolls component of the government’s employment report, last month’s jump underscored robust labor market conditions that is likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates again in December.
The U.S. central bank increased rates last week for the third time this year, noting that “the labor market has continued to strengthen” and “job gains have been strong, on average.”
The ADP report showed construction payrolls rose by 34,000 jobs last month, accelerating from 3,000 in August. The services sector added 184,000 jobs in September, up from 145,000 in August. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)