Companies continued to hire at a brisk pace in October, with private payrolls rising by a better-than-expected 227,000, according to a report Wednesday from ADP and Moody's Analytics.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had expected growth of 189,000 after September's 218,000, which was revised lower from an initial count of 230,000.
Gains came primarily from the services sector, which added 189,000 positions. Construction and manufacturing added 17,000 each. At an industry level, trade, transportation and utilities was the biggest contributor with 61,000 new positions.
Leisure and hospitality contributed 40,000, while professional and business services added 36,000 and education and health services grew by 31,000.
In terms of company size, big businesses that employ 500 or more workers led the way with 102,000. Small businesses, which have paced much of the recovery, lagged with just 29,000 new hires, another sign of a tightening job market where qualified workers are getting harder to find.
"The job market bounced back strongly last month despite being hit by back-to-back hurricanes," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's, said in a statement. "Testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries. The only blemish is the struggles small businesses are having filling open job positions."