A big jump in hiring is fueling hopes the economy made a turn for the better in September.
Private employers hired 568,000 new employees last month, according to a monthly survey released Wednesday by payroll processing company ADP.
September's bigger-than-expected gain topped the average for the entire third quarter.
There was a boost in hiring last month at bars and restaurants - in a sign that employers believe the latest health crisis outbreak is starting to slow.
Leisure and hospitality led the hiring pack with 226,000 new jobs. Manufacturing and construction rounded out the top three hiring sectors.
Though the ADP number isn't good at predicting the official jobs number released each month by the Labor Department, it is good at predicting the direction.
Friday's complete jobs data are expected to show a drop in the unemployment rate to 5.1 percent and a rise in employment by 473,000.
But there's a downside to the good news - at least on Wall Street.
The economy is likely good enough to meet the Federal Reserve's criteria to begin tapering its extraordinary bond-buying program. Those monthly purchases were instituted as a band-aid for the economy at the start of the health crisis.
But with inflation way above the Fed's two percent comfort level and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announcing last month that the economy was just one "decent" monthly employment report from meeting the Fed's jobs objective... investors are looking at Wednesday ADP hiring report as a suggestion that the start of the tapering could start as soon as the Fed's November meeting.