WASHINGTON – U.S. businesses added 173,000 jobs last month, lifted by strong gains in services industries, according to a private survey.
Payroll processor ADP said that construction firms hired more workers, while manufacturers shed jobs.
Hiring had been at or above a pace of 200,000 a month over the winter, but started to slow a bit in April. Still, last month's job gains, if sustained, are enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.
The ADP figures come just a day before the U.S. government's official jobs report. The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the official figures.
Economists forecast that the official figures will show employers added about 160,000 jobs in May, matching April's total.