The US private sector added about 198,000 new jobs in February, down from January but a bit better than the average of the last six months, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday.

The number was down from January's 215,000, but that figure had been revised upward from the initial estimate by 23,000 jobs, ADP said.

New jobs generated by the private sector have averaged 192,000 a month over the past six months.

Broken down, 164,000 of the new jobs in February were in the services industry, a large part of those in the trade, transportation and utility sectors, ADP said.

Another 34,000 were in manufacturing, construction and other goods-producing companies.

"The report adds to the list of data showing improvement" in the jobs sector, said Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics.

On Friday the government will give its official estimate for job creation in both the public and private sectors in February. High Frequency Economics estimates a net 130,000 jobs were generated, below other estimates which it said average in the 160,000 range.