Private sector payrolls soared 297,000 in December, payroll processor ADP announced Wednesday.
The gain marks the 11th consecutive month of increases, and was much larger than economists had expected. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were forecasting an increase of 100,000 jobs.
The increase in hiring was led by the services sector, with employers adding 270,000 jobs in December. That's the highest jump on record, ADP said.
That's a positive sign for the economy, with the government's highly-anticipated monthly unemployment report due Friday.