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Companies hired almost a million new workers in May, ADP says

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Private-sector hiring picked up at its fastest pace in almost a year last month as companies hired almost 980,000 workers, according to a report published Thursday by payroll processing firm ADP.

That’s a leap from the 654,000 workers added on private payrolls in April and marks the country’s largest gain since June.

ADP’s private payroll figures could bode well for the closely watched May employment report, which is slated to be published Friday morning. But the two reports occasionally differ, like in April when the government count reported just 266,000 new jobs, far short of expectations of a million.

“Private payrolls showed a marked improvement from recent months and the strongest gain since the early days of the recovery,” Nela Richardson, ADP’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Companies of all sizes experienced an uptick in job growth, reflecting the improving nature of the pandemic and economy.”

May growth for non-farm employment.ADP Graph charting the yearly changes in non-farm employment.ADP New jobless claims fell below 400,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The leisure and hospitality sector, the industry hardest hit by the pandemic and subsequent government restrictions, saw the most jobs added in