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Hiring slows in March, ending streak of gains

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A weakening U.S. economy spilled into the job market in March as employers added just 126,000 jobs — the fewest since December 2013 — snapping a 12-month streak of gains above 200,000.
The unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent, the Labor Department said in its monthly report Friday.
The March jobs data raised uncertainties about the world’s largest economy, which for months has been the envy of other industrialized nations for its steadily robust hiring and growth. Employers now appear wary about the economy, especially as a strong dollar has slowed U.S. exports, home sales have sputtered and cheaper gasoline has yet to unleash more consumer spending.
Some of the weakness may prove temporary: An unseasonably cold March followed a brutal winter that slowed key sectors of the economy.
Last month’s subpar job growth could make the Federal Reserve less likely to start raising interest rates from record lows in June, as some have been anticipating. The Fed may decide that the economy still needs the benefit of low borrowing costs to generate healthy growth.


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