"Our work has found the series to be the single best predictor of monthly changes in nonfarm payrolls," Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said in a note. "If ADP surprises us meaningfully in either direction, we will adjust our payroll forecast accordingly."
LaVorgna had forecast a below-consensus 145,000 for the nonfarm payrolls report.
The details of the ADP report rang familiar: Small business set the tone by adding 84,000 jobs, while medium-sized gained 55,000 and large businesses hired 49,000.
Professional and businesses services comprised 40,000 of the total number, with trade, transportation and utilities contributing 43,000 and construction 21,000.
The jobless claims number, meanwhile, represented a decline of 5,000 from the previous week's revised 348,000.
The four-week moving average declined to 345,500, a drop of 750 from the previous week.
"The data...remains encouraging and leads us to conclude that job growth remains alive and kicking across the economy," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market economist at Miller Tabak.
No states estimated claims and there did not appear to be any unusual factors influencing the weekly count.
In other economic news, exports unexpectedly fell 0.3 percent while imports rose 1.9 percent.