Washington, DC, April 5, 2013 -- Job creation in March hit its slowest pace in nine months and was well below expectations, according to the Labor Department.
The economy added 88,000 nonfarm jobs last month and the jobless rate edged a tenth of a point lower to 7.6% largely due to people dropping out of the work force.
Economists had expected a gain of 200,000.
Retailers cut staff in March by 24,100.
Across-the-board federal budget cuts that began in March may have played a significant role in the weak pace of hiring.
The construction sector added 18,000 jobs despite cold weather.