July 2, 2014 8:20 AM, EDT
Companies Add Most Workers Since 2012, ADP Says

Employment at companies climbed in June by the most since November 2012, a sign the U.S. job market is strengthening along with demand, a private payrolls report showed.

The 281,000 surge exceeded the most optimistic forecast in a Bloomberg News survey and followed a 179,000 increase in May, data from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed. The median estimate of economists called for a 205,000 advance.

Businesses are taking on more workers and limiting dismissals, bolstering economists’ projections that the economy will strengthen after a first-quarter contraction.

“It all points to a relatively optimistic outlook,” said Lewis Alexander, U.S. chief economist for Nomura Holdings Inc. “Businesses are seeing demand and the fact that they’re hiring supports that.”

Estimates of 47 economists in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 169,000 to 250,000.

Manufacturers, builders and other goods-producing industries increased headcount by 51,000. Employment in construction rose by 36,000, while factories added 12,000 jobs, the report showed.