Cliff Debate Didn’t Hinder Hiring: Private Companies Added 215K Jobs in December

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Private-sector employers added 215,000 jobs in December, according to ADP Research Institute’s monthly National Employment Report. November’s private payrolls were revised upward in the report this morning to show a gain of 148,000 from the previously reported 118,000.

The report, jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics, demonstrates stronger growth in December than had been expected. Economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report had predicted it would show a gain of 133,000 jobs in December. Economists polled by Bloomberg projected 140,000. The 215,000 December increase in employment was the largest since February.

“The job market held firm in December despite the intensifying fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, said in a statement. “Businesses even became somewhat more aggressive in their hiring at year end.”

While some hiring may have been seasonal, strength in the job market during a time of such economic uncertainty — Congress held the nation hostage with its post-election battling over the fiscal cliff, which resembled a very dangerous game of chicken — gives hope heading into the New Year, one that will likely avoid the recession that had become an all too-real possibility if lawmakers were unable to settle on a fiscal cliff solution…

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