US private payrolls surged by 298,000 in February, many more than expected, according to the ADP Research Institute.
Economists had forecast a gain by 187,000 private payrolls, slowing from a 246,000 gain in January, according to Bloomberg.
It was the biggest beat relative to expectations since December 2011, according to Bespoke Investment Group.
The service-producing sector added the bulk of the jobs as is typical, at 193,000. However, the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, gained a record 106,000 jobs. Employers in every sub-sector increased hiring on net, ADP’s report showed.
ADP’s report comes ahead of the government’s jobs report on Friday, which is forecast to show that the US economy added 190,000 nonfarm payrolls last month.
The jobs report is considered the final piece of economic data that, if terrible, could deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates at its meeting next week. Futures traders and many economists see a near-100% chance that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate after several officials on the policy-setting committee spoke in favor of hiking sooner rather than later.