U.S. Gains 126,000 Jobs In March, Unemployment 5.5%

MarketWatch Pulse

The U.S. generated just 126,000 new jobs in March, marking the smallest gain since the end of 2013, and the government also trimmed employment growth in the first two months of the year in the first clear evidence that the labor market might be slowing down. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected an increase of 243,000 nonfarm jobs. Although many thought hiring might have tapered off in March, the steepness of the decline comes as a big surprise. Employment gains for January and December were revised down by a combined 69,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The government said 264,000 new jobs were created in February instead of 295,000. January's gain was cut to 201,000 from 239,000. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, was unchanged at 5.5%. Average monthly job gained slowed to 197,000 in the first three months of the year from 289,000 in the 2014 fourth quarter.

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