The unemployment rate is 7.8 percent and Zandi expects that with continued labor market growth that the rate should drop to 7.3 percent by the end of the year and, finally, fall below 7 percent in early 2014.
"These were good, solid job gains that were broad-based across many industries," Zandi said.
Businesses with 49 or fewer employees added 115,000 jobs in January. Employment levels among medium-sized companies with 50-499 employees rose by 79,000, while employment at large companies — those with 500 or more employees — fell by 2,000.
There is still some weakness in manufacturing but that is temporary and more growth is expected this year with easing global financial pressures.
Manufacturers shed 3,000 jobs but employers added 15,000 construction jobs.
Job gains for December were revised down by 30,000, to 185,000.
The report covering private-sector job gains comes two days before the Labor Department will release its figures for January, which include government payrolls.