Could 2011 be the year of job growth?
Payroll services company ADP said U.S. private employers added 297,000 jobs in December, nearly three times what was expected.
Last month's payroll figures are compared with a revised gain of 92,000 in November, ADP said. The November figure was originally reported as a gain of 93,000.
The report comes ahead of the government's labor market report Friday, which includes 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 Reuters poll of analysts, but a rise in private payrolls of 145,000.