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U.S. private sector adds 217,000 jobs in November: ADP

Jobseekers attend a job fair in Williston, North Dakota March 11, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. private employers added 217,000 jobs in November, above expectations and the most since June, signaling job growth is likely strong enough to support the first Federal Reserve interest rate hike in nearly a decade when policymakers meet later this month, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 190,000 jobs.

Private payroll gains in October were revised up to 196,000from an originally reported 182,000 increase.

The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics. The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment.

Economists polled by Reuters are projecting the Labor Department's report to show U.S. employers hired 200,000 workers in November. The unemployment rate is forecast to hold at 5.0 percent. (ECONUS)

"The current pace of job creation is twice that needed to absorb growth in the working age population," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, said in a statement. "The economy is fast approaching full employment and will be there no later than next summer."

Employment gains were relatively healthy also across businesses when measured by size, with small employers adding 81,000 jobs, medium-sized companies adding 62,000 and large businesses adding 74,000 workers. Within the large business segment, companies with between 500 and 999 workers hired a record 57,000 people in November, according to the report.

The services sector added 204,000 jobs, while goods-producing companies hired 13,000 new workers.

The strength of the report contributed to a push higher in bond yields as traders positioned for an ever-more-likely rate hike by the Fed on Dec. 16. The 2-year U.S. Treasury note yield (US2YT=RR), the most sensitive to Fed policy expectations, rose to a session high above 0.94 percent.

Market-based measures of Fed policy expectations assign a probability of 75 percent to the U.S. central bank raising interest rates this month for the first time since June 2006, according to the CME Group's FedWatch site.

(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)