ECONOMY

Survey: US businesses add 246,000 jobs, most in 7 months

U.S. companies ramped up hiring in January, adding the most new workers since June, according to a private survey.

Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 246,000 jobs last month, up from 151,000 in December. The hiring was widespread, with the construction, manufacturing, health care and shipping industries all adding jobs at a solid pace.

The figures suggest that job gains have accelerated in the wake of the election. With the unemployment rate already low, at 4.7 percent, employers may be forced to offer higher pay to attract workers, which may create broader income growth.

The ADP data cover only private businesses and often diverge from official figures. Economists forecast that the government's jobs report, due Friday, will show a gain of 175,000, according to data provider FactSet.