Companies expanded payrolls in October by the most in eight months, an indication the U.S. labor market was on the upswing at the start of the fourth quarter, according to a private report based on payrolls.

The 158,000 increase followed a revised 114,000 gain in September, data from the Roseland, New Jersey-based ADP Research Institute showed today. This is the first ADP report derived using a larger sample and new methodology.

Quicker job creation suggests confidence among businesses is holding up in the face of the so-called fiscal cliff, an onslaught of tax increases and spending cuts in place for next year should Congress fail to act. A Labor Department report tomorrow may show private payrolls increased by 124,000 in October while the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

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