WRAPUP 1-Surprise U.S. jobs surge boosts economic outlook

* Private U.S. employers added 297,000 jobs in December

* Sharpest jump on record, eclipsed economists’ estimate

* Stocks pare losses; U.S. dollar extends gains

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, Jan 5 (BestGrowthStock) – A surprise surge in U.S.
private-sector employment last month to its highest level on
record provided the most bullish signal in months that the U.S.
economy is slowly mending.

Private employers added 297,000 jobs in December, triple
the median estimate by economists and up from the gain of
92,000 in November, an ADP Employer Services report showed on
Wednesday.

The news reduced early losses in U.S. stock index futures,
though the stock market was still expected to open lower. The
jobs report helped send the price of the U.S. 30-year Treasury
bond a full point lower.

“You cannot ignore the strength of this report,” Tom
Porcelli, a U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets. “With small
business now beginning to start to ramp up hiring, it’s safe to
feel better about the labor backdrop.”

Adding to the rosy picture, the number of planned layoffs
at U.S. firms fell last month to the lowest level in 10 years,
according to a report by consultants Challenger, Gray &
Christmas Inc. [ID:nNLL4CE7RM]

Tempering some of the optimism on Wednesday, an industry
group said applications for U.S. home mortgages ebbed in the
last couple of months of the year, with loan rates hovering
around their highest levels in seven months. [ID:nNLL4CE7RN]

The U.S. dollar extended gains against the yen and the
euro.

The ADP figures came ahead of the government’s much more
comprehensive labor market report due on Friday, which will
include both public and private sector employment.

That report is expected to show a rise in overall nonfarm
payrolls of 140,000 in December, based on a recent Reuters poll
of analysts, but a rise in private payrolls of 145,000.
[ECI/US]

Economists often use the ADP report to fine-tune their
forecasts for the payrolls numbers, though it is not always
accurate in predicting the outcome.

The ADP report is jointly developed with Macroeconomic
Advisers LLC.
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U.S. private sector jobs rise by record in Dec:

http://r.reuters.com/muc84r

U.S. planned layoffs fell to lowest since 2000 in Dec:

http://r.reuters.com/wec84r

U.S. mortgage applications ebbed in the last two weeks of
2010 amid the holiday season.

http://r.reuters.com/gub84r
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(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer)

WRAPUP 1-Surprise U.S. jobs surge boosts economic outlook