WASHINGTON — U.S. businesses added a robust 190,000 jobs in November, according to a private survey, a sign that hiring is strong enough to reduce an already-low unemployment rate.
Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that last month's hiring followed an even larger gain of 235,000 in October. Some of October's job increase reflected a bounce-back from hurricane effects, which lowered hiring in September to just 96,000.
Manufacturers helped drive the increase, adding 40,000 jobs, the largest gain this year, ADP said. Health care added 31,000 positions, and a category that includes restaurants and hotels hired 25,000.
"The job market is red hot," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which compiles the report, said.
Job gains at last month's pace should, over time, drive down the unemployment rate, which is currently at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.
The rate could fall below 4 percent by late 2018, Zandi said, which would put it near 50-year lows.
That could cause the job market to "overheat," Zandi noted, in that wages would rise more quickly, potentially pushing up inflation. The Federal Reserve would likely respond with faster interest rate increases, which typically slows growth.
U.S. manufacturers are benefiting from broad improvement in the global economy, which is lifting their exports. Auto manufacturers are also producing and hiring more, in part because auto sales have risen as residents to Texas and Florida replace hurricane-damaged cars.