ADP Inc.

Survey: US businesses add a modest 153,000 jobs in December

U.S. companies reported a modest gain of 153,000 jobs last month, all in service industries such as retail and health care. The report provided the latest evidence of the economy's transition away from manufacturing and other blue-collar work.

Payroll provider ADP said Thursday that hotels and restaurants added 18,000 jobs in December, while higher-paying professional and business services, such as engineering, added 24,000. Manufacturers lost 9,000 jobs and construction firms shed 2,000.

Hiring has been steady this year, but most of it has been in both higher- and lower-paying service jobs. Factories, by contrast, have cut workers as a strong dollar and weak overseas growth...