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The US private sector tacked on 263,000 jobs in March, easily beating estimates, in the latest sign of strength in the American labour market.

Wall Street economists expected an increase of 185,000. The figures reported by payroll processor ADP also showed that the job gains in February were revised lower to 245,000 from 298,000.

Wednesday’s report comes ahead of the more closely watched monthly jobs data that are issued by the US government at the end of this week.

Economists are looking to see whether the labour market continues to tighten, something that could prod the Federal Reserve to continue to tighten monetary policy after its March rate increase.

Data on the US economy have been patchy in recent weeks, with survey-based measures sometimes pointing to more strength than shown in hard data.

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