US Adds 103000 Jobs in March, Below Forecasts

(Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 202,000 over the last 3 months.

"Considering how tight the labor market is in terms of the unemployment rate and [slow] population growth, it's hard to maintain 200,000 jobs being added every month", said Cathy Barrera, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

Another closely watched indicator unemployment rate was stable at 4.1 percent for sixth straight month.

The new data from March follow strong job growth in February, when it was initially reported that US companies had added 313,000 jobs - the biggest increase in 1 1/2 years. The Labor Department said rates among the major worker groups showed little or no change in March. The US economy added only 103,000 jobs last month, about half of what economists expected and far below the projections from ADP earlier in the week.

The March jobs report was a disappointment as just 103,000 jobs were created, fewer than expected by economists. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 71 cents, or 2.7%.

Average hourly earnings rose by 8 cents, settling at $26.82. In March, the Fed announced to raised interest rate to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, marking the sixth time since the financial crisis that it has raised rates.

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Ahead of the report, USA stock futures were lower after news late Thursday that President Donald Trump has told administration officials to consider an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

Employment in professional and business services gained the most jobs, adding 33,000, while the health care and manufacturing sectors followed with 22,000 jobs each.

Construction employment was the biggest loser in March, declining by 15,000 after a strong 65,000 jobs were added to the sector in February.

Analysts said the cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown, which was anticipated to some degree after February's blockbuster gains.

Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance.

  • Darren Santiago