Private-sector hiring surged in December as employers added 325,000 new workers while claims for jobless benefits fell, raising hope that recent labor market improvement would continue in 2012. The ADP National Employment Report’s December job tally surprised economists who had expected a 178,000 gain. It was also well above the 204,000 private jobs added in November.
“The number is stunning,” said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. “This is another data point that shows our economy is healing. It fits in well with improvements we’ve seen in consumer sentiment, and obviously that’s because there are more people getting paychecks, which is making everyone happier.”
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