Private sector job creation surged in November, with ADP reporting 215,000 new jobs in a number that could put some heat on the Federal Reserve to begin reducing its monthly stimulus.
Economists expected ADP to report the private sector created 173,000 new jobs in November.
"This feels pretty good," Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody's Analytics, which assists ADP in putting together the monthly report, said on CNBC. "I'm surprised at how well the job market held up in the face of what happened in Washington."
Economists had expected the government shutdown in early October to put pressure on the job market, but that has not shown up in any of the data released since then.
In fact, ADP sharply revised its October number up to 184,000 from an initially reported 130,000.
Services again led job creation with 176,000 new positions, though goods-producing added a healthy 40,000 in November, up from 29,000 in the previous month. Construction and manufacturing were good for another 18,000 jobs each. For manufacturing, it was the best month in nearly two years.
As always, the numbers will be read through the prism of Fed policy.
If the private payrolls count is an accurate barometer for the nonfarm payrolls reading the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases Friday, it could up the pressure for the U.S. central bank's Open markets Committee to ease off on the $85 billion in monthly bond purchases its carries out through its quantitative easing program.
"The market is trying to work out whether good news is bad but clearly this report argues in favor of a December tapering at the FOMC," Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak, said in a note.
November job creation tilted heavily towards businesses with fewer than 50 employees, which added 102,000 new positions. Large firms contributed 65,000 while medium-sized companies created 48,000.
Market expectations had been for a March QE taper, but that could change if the Fed thinks economic signals are ripe for a move.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC, said a reduction could happen at the late-January Fed meeting.