Companies boosted payrolls in March by the most in three months, adding to evidence the job market is recovering from a blast of harsh winter weather, a private payrolls report showed.
The 191,000 increase in employment followed a revised 178,000 gain in February that was stronger than initially estimated, according to the ADP Research Institute. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 195,000 advance.
The figures show companies are gaining confidence demand will strengthen from earlier in the year when colder-than-normal temperatures and snowstorms prompted Americans to cut back. Further gains in employment and wage growth will help set the stage for a pickup in household spending, which accounts for almost 70% of the economy.
Manufacturers, builders and other goods producers added 28,000 workers in March, ADP figures showed. Employment in construction rose by 20,000, and factories added 5,000 jobs. Service providers increased payrolls by 164,000 workers.
The ADP report is based on data from businesses with more than 21 million workers on their combined payrolls.
The U.S. Labor Department is scheduled to release its monthly jobs report Friday.