Payroll provider ADP said on Thursday that businesses added 158,000 jobs in October, picking up the pace set in the previous month.
ADP said it saw growth in construction, transportation and utilities, financial activities, and services. Manufacturing was the only sector that lost jobs.
The gain of 158,000 jobs shows the job market is holding its own, said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, which is working with ADP to create the employment report.
"In a more normal economy we'd be pretty happy with it, but we need to see stronger job growth in order to bring down unemployment," Zandi said.
Zandi said big companies — those with 1,000 or more employees — hired a disproportionate share of workers. Small businesses with 20 or fewer workers are hiring, but at a slower rate, he said.
ADP said the job gains accelerated from September, when revised figures showed a gain of 114,000 jobs.
ADP is calculating job gains with a different methodology than it had previously used. The new report covers more businesses.
The report only covers hiring in the private sector, so it excludes government job growth. The Labor Department will offer a more complete picture of October hiring on Friday.
ADP's new methodology should be a closer fit with official payroll data, said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist with research company Capital Economics.