In another sign of an improving economy, private companies added 216,000 jobs in February, according to a study released Wednesday.
The new numbers mark a significant improvement over the 173,000 jobs added in January, according to Automatic Data Processing Inc., a New Jersey human resources, payroll and benefits company that releases a monthly jobs report based on data from nearly 500,000 clients.
The biggest jump came in the service sector, which added 170,000 jobs, according to the report. "Goods-producing" businesses — including agriculture, construction and manufacturing — added 46,000 jobs in February.
"For February, virtually every sector of the economy added jobs — something I hope will continue for the rest of 2012," ADP Chief Executive Carlos Rodriguez said.