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Associated Press
Air Force Staff Sgt. Bri Smith, right, samples a product while talking with Mary Kay consultant Asenath Holmes Pitner in Marietta, Ga. Payroll processor ADP says a survey of private companies shows the best job growth in November.

Survey: US adds most jobs in year

– A private survey shows U.S. businesses last month added the most jobs in a year, powered by big gains in manufacturing and construction.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies and small businesses added 215,000 jobs in November. And ADP said private employers added 184,000 jobs in October, much stronger than its initial estimate of 130,000.

The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report. Last month, the Labor Department said private businesses added 212,000 jobs in October. The Labor Department will report on November job growth Friday.

Still, the figure suggests that hiring remained healthy in November after picking up in the prior three months. Manufacturing and construction firms each added 18,000 jobs. That was the biggest gain for manufacturers since early this year.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the figures show that employers shook off the partial government shutdown in October and kept hiring, despite a drop in consumer confidence. Moody’s helps compile the ADP data.

“That’s very encouraging as we make our way into next year,” Zandi said.

Other economists also said the hiring boost was a good sign, but noted that the ADP figures are not always a reliable guide to the government’s figure.

The November figures from ADP came the same day that The Business Roundtable released upbeat results of a survey of chief executives. The results show a growing number of CEOs are slightly more optimistic about the economy’s prospects for the next six months and expect to boost hiring.

The Business Roundtable, which represents 200 of the largest U.S. companies, said its index measuring CEO outlook rose to 84.5 in the October-December quarter. That’s up from 79.1 in the July-September quarter.

The survey noted that 34 percent of the executives expect their companies will increase hiring in the next six months, up from 32 percent in the previous survey. And 73 percent of those surveyed expect their company’s sales to increase, up from 71 percent.

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