Survey: US companies added healthy 234,000 jobs in January

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Survey: US companies added healthy 234,000 jobs in January
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, file photo, job seekers stand at a booth at a job fair at the Dolphin Mall in Sweetwater, Fla. U.S. businesses kept hiring at a healthy pace in January 2018, a sign the economy is off to a solid start for the year, a private survey found. Payroll processor ADP says that companies added 234,000 jobs, led by big gains in services firms, such as hotels, restaurants, retail, education and health. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses continued to hire at a healthy pace in January, a sign the economy is off to a solid start for the year.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 234,000 jobs, led by big gains in services firms, such as hotels, restaurants, retail, education and health.

Job gains at that pace are easily enough to drive down the already-low unemployment rate over time. The rate has remained at 4.1 percent for the past three months. Businesses are optimistic about the economy, particularly after the President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul was approved last month.

Still, ADP’s data and government figures frequently diverge. In December, ADP’s report showed employers added 242,000 jobs. But government data indicated just 148,000 jobs were added.