U.S. businesses added 219,000 jobs in July, a positive sign amid tightening labor market, according to a private survey released on Wednesday.
Hiring hit the fastest pace since February and was higher than the 181,000 jobs posted in June, on a boost from the Republican tax package and increases in government spending, according to payroll processor ADP.
So far this year, employers have added 1.4 million jobs for an average of nearly 206,000 jobs a month.
“The labor market is on a roll with no signs of a slowdown in sight,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute.
“Nearly every industry posted strong gains and small business hiring picked up," Yildirmaz said.
Medium-sized businesses, which employ 50 to 499 people, led the way by adding 119,000 jobs in July.
Larger businesses added 48,000 jobs to their payrolls while smaller firms hired 52,000 workers.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics who oversees the ADP data, said the trade war that President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE is waging with key allies like Mexico, Canada and the European Union, as well as China, is not yet weighing on hiring.
"Tariffs have yet to materially impact jobs, but the multinational companies shed jobs last month, signaling the threat," Zandi said.
The Trump administration has put steep duties on imports of steel and aluminum, has slapped China with tariffs of $34 billion on Chinese goods and is threatening $200 billion more.
Even as the labor force tightens, businesses have managed to boost their payrolls.
The unemployment rate is at 4 percent and economists are forecasting that it could drop to 3.5 percent with job gains expected to continue through this year.
The government will release its July jobs report on Friday with expectations of about 193,000 and a jobless rate of about 3.9 percent.
The service-sector added 177,000 jobs last month behind a 47,000 gain in professional services and the addition of 48,000 jobs in education and health services.
Information technology shed 1,000 jobs in July.
Construction added 17,000 jobs and manufacturers tacked on 23,000.
Last week, the Commerce Department reported that economy expanded in the April-June quarter at a robust 4.1 percent annual rate, the fastest in nearly four years, by riding the economic tailwind created by the tax cuts.