• Credit: Courtesy ADP

This morning, Automatic Data Processing (ADP), a leading provider of payroll services, released its December employment report, which it creates each month in association with Moody’s Analytics. According to their calculations, the national economy added 215,000 jobs last month, beating most economists’ expectations and showing the most growth since February 2012. November’s job totals were also revised upward by 30,000 jobs, from 118,000 jobs added to 148,000.

ADP and Moody’s don’t break down the data in as detailed a way as does the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly report (due out Friday), so the analogous “architecture and engineering services” category can’t be plumbed for a comparison. (See last month’s jobs report story for more.) ADP and Moody’s do, however, break out the goods-producing segment into separate manufacturing and construction categories. Manufacturing had a second straight month of job losses (losing 11,000 jobs), but construction had the seventh straight month of job gains. The 39,000 jobs added to the construction segment in December is the largest addition in a single month since February 2006 (which saw 44,000 jobs added).

ADP also reported December’s construction workforce at 5.708 million workers. That’s the segment’s largest workforce size since October 2009. While this figure falls far short of the construction industry’s workforce peak—7.726 million workers in June 2006—today’s data points to a trend of improved business conditions going forward. The hope is that tomorrow’s release from BLS confirms the trend.