The US private sector picked up hiring modestly in May after a two-month slowdown, in a positive sign for the official government jobs report his week, payroll firm ADP said Wednesday.
Businesses added 201,000 positions in May after an average 170,000 in each of the previous two months.
There was strength in construction, adding 27,000 jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities, gaining 56,0000 positions, ADP said.
"The labor market moved back up to the 200,000 jobs added mark in May, a number which has been something of a bellwether for healthy employment growth," Carlos Rodriguez, ADP president and chief executive, said in a statement.
"We hope that the May number is the beginning of an upward trend going into the summer months."
On Friday the US Labor Department issues its monthly report on public and private sector job creation and unemployment.
Economists note that the ADP numbers have frequently come in far off those of the official report.
They predict on average that the Labor Department will report about 225,000 net new jobs created in May, and the jobless rate holding steady at 5.4 percent.