Private-sector employment rose by 187,000 jobs in January on a seasonally adjusted basis as the labor market accelerated into the fastest pace of job creation in five years, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday.

December job creation was revised downward by 50,000 new positions to 247,000 in the new data. However, the 434,000 nonfarm jobs created the past two months still represents the most robust job creation since January and February of 2006.

Economists look to the ADP report for clues to the monthly employment situation report, which covers nonfarm payrolls in both the public and private sectors. The January report will be released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Without a doubt, the labor market is poised for acceleration, but it’s not clear January will be the month when that happens,” said Ellen Beeson Zentner, an economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. “The month was marred by serious weather and both January and December are always volatile because of weather and holiday distortions. We probably won’t get a clean number until February.”

Over the past year, ADP reported national employment has increased by 0.8% or 907,000 jobs, but private payrolls remain 7.373 million below their January 2008 cyclical peak.

Private-sector employment has declined by an average of 29,000 jobs a month since the ADP National Employment Report began in January of 2001.

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