U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in more than a year in March amid signs the economy was starting to take strain from a strong dollar and lower crude oil prices, which could delay an anticipated interest rate increase from the Fed.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade, while mining lost jobs.
The unemployment rate in February fell to 5.5% and its lowest since May 2008. The headline jump of 295,000 for payrolls was the strongest gain since December and accompanied by a negative revision to the January report.