Private sector employers added an estimated 263,000 jobs last month, according to payroll giant ADP, in a healthy sign of a growing economy despite rising interest rates.

Small businesses added 118,000 jobs in March, including 60,000 at businesses with between one and 19 employees, and 58,000 at firms with between 20 and 49 employees.

Medium-size businesses with between 50 and 499 employees gained 100,000 jobs. Large businesses added 45,000 jobs, including 8,000 at companies with between 500 and 999 employees, and 37,000 at organizations with 1,000 employees or more.

The service sector accounted for 181,000 jobs, including 57,000 in professional and business services, which includes accounting, tax and other types of services, while 25,000 jobs were added in financial activities. The goods-producing sector added 82,000 jobs last month, including 49,000 construction jobs and 30,000 manufacturing jobs. Franchises added 13,900 jobs last month.

ADP March 2017 National Employment Report

“Job growth is off to a strong start in 2017,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which compiles the monthly national employment report with ADP. “The gains are broad based, but most notable in the goods-producing side of the economy, including construction, manufacturing and mining.”

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