WASHINGTON - A private survey shows U.S. businesses sharply increased hiring in December, helped by a surge of construction jobs created to help rebuild from Superstorm Sandy in the Northeast.
Payroll processor ADP says employers added 215,000 jobs in December. That's more than November's total of 148,000, which was revised higher.
The survey showed companies added 39,000 construction jobs last month. That was partly in response to the storm but also an indication of the housing recovery.
The survey also offered a reminder of an area of the economy that remains weak: Manufacturers cut 11,000 jobs.
The report covers hiring only in the private sector. ADP's figures have diverged sharply at times from the government's more comprehensive jobs report, which will be released Friday.