Private-sector employment increased by 297,000 from November to December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest report from payroll giant ADP.

The ADP National Employment Report, released Wednesday, suggests nonfarm private employment grew very strongly in December, at a pace well above what is usually associated with a declining unemployment rate. After a mid-year pause, employment seems to have accelerated as indicated by September’s employment gain of 29,000, October’s gain of 79,000, November’s gain of 92,000 and December’s gain of 297,000.

ADP revised down slightly the estimated change of employment from October to November from a previously reported increase of 93,000 to an increase of 92,000, however.

Strength was evident within all major industries and every size business tracked in the ADP Report. According to the ADP Report, employment in the service-providing sector rose by 270,000 in December, the eleventh consecutive monthly gain and the largest monthly increase in the history of the report. Employment in the goods-producing sector rose 27,000, the second consecutive monthly gain and the largest since February 2006. Manufacturing employment rose 23,000, also the second consecutive monthly gain.

Employment among large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, increased by 36,000 while employment among midsized businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers, increased by 144,000.

Employment among small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, increased by 117,000, with 120,000 jobs added in the service sector and 3,000 jobs cut in the goods-producing sector.

Construction employment was unchanged in December, ending continuous monthly declines since June 2007. The decline in Construction employment, since its peak in January 2007, is 2,306,000. Employment in the financial services sector declined 8,000 in December.

"Today's ADP National Employment Report shows a large increase in U.S. private sector employment, with significant gains in both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors, as well as across all size businesses," said ADP president and CEO Gary C. Butler in a statement. "Employment growth has accelerated over the last few months. The recent decisions by our nation's policymakers to extend and enact tax cuts for the short-term are positive, but more can be done. The new Congress has a great opportunity to support ongoing job creation by enacting tax policies and creating business incentives that together will encourage businesses to invest and expand."

Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, which compiles the reports with ADP, noted that this month's ADP National Employment Report suggests the nonfarm private employment grew very strongly in December, at a pace well above what is usually associated with a declining unemployment rate.

The matched sample used to develop the ADP National Employment Report was derived from ADP data which, during the 12-month period through June 2010, averaged over 340,000 U.S. business clients and represented over 21 million U.S. employees. This approximately represents the size of the matched sample used this month.

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