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Service sector expands at fastest pace in 5 years

WASHINGTON — The U.S. service sector, which employs nearly 90 percent of the work force, grew in January at the fastest pace in five years, a sign that hiring could pick up soon. The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, said Thursday its index of service sector activity rose to 59.4 last month. That’s the 14th straight month of growth. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

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