By Vicki Needham - 09/05/13 02:59 PM EDT
Readings above 50 percent signal expansion.
Hiring increased to 57, up from 53.2 in July, the 13th straight month of expansion and the highest level in six months.
New orders were up to 60.5 from 57.7, the highest reading since early 2011, while sales picked up pace to a three-year high.
In total, 16 of 18 service sector industries reported expansion with most respondents saying they are positive about business conditions and the direction of the economy.