Starting the year with gains across major industries, private businesses added 187,000 jobs in January, starting the year, payroll firm ADP said on Feb. 2.
The January number marked a slowdown from December's revised 247,000.
"The recent pattern of rising employment gains since the middle of last year appears to be intact, as the average gain over December and January -- 217,000 -- is well above the average gain over the prior six months -- 52,000," ADP said.
Strength in job creation was seen within all major industries and across all size business tracked, the company added.
The ADP report came amid concerns that high unemployment will continue to hold back the economy's struggling recovery through the year.
Government jobs data due out on Feb. 4 is expected to show the unemployment rate in January ticked up one-tenth point to 9.5%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011