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By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — Private employers added 230,000 net new jobs in October, a solid gain that indicates the labor market is continuing to improve, payroll firm Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday.

In addition to last month’s gains, the firm revised up September’s private-sector job growth by 12,000, to 225,000 net new positions.

“The job market is steadily picking up pace,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which assists ADP in preparing the closely watched report.

“Job growth is strong and broad-based across industries and company sizes,” he said. “The job market will soon be tight enough to support a meaningful acceleration in wage growth.”

The private-sector gains were slightly better than analysts expected and bode well for Friday’s Labor Department job report.

Economists expect that report to show the overall U.S. economy — private and public sectors — added 240,000 net new jobs in October. That would be down from September’s 248,000 figure, but still would represent steady growth.

The unemployment rate is forecast to have remained at 5.9 percent in October, which is the lowest since mid-2008.

ADP said job growth was up sharply in October for midsized companies, defined as those with 50-499 employees. Those firms added 122,000 net new positions last month, more than double the 47,000 added in September.

But companies with more than 500 employees added just 5,000 net new jobs, down from 85,000, ADP said.

The well-paying construction industry added 28,000 net new jobs last month, up from 13,000 in September, it said.

Another high-wage sector, manufacturing, saw hiring fall off sharply to 15,000 net new positions in October, down from 33,000 the previous month. But the September figure was the best since 2011.

Overall, goods-producing industries added 48,000 net new jobs last month, down from 50,000 in September. Service-providing companies increased their payrolls by 181,000 in October, up from 176,000 the previous month.

AFP Photo/Justin Sullivan

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