Pace of U.S. hiring tumbles, yet jobless rate hits 10-year low

The unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in March, the lowest since 2007. The overall unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent in February. America only added 98,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.

Manufacturing also saw a dip in the number of jobs created.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell in March to 4.5 percent, its lowest level in almost 10 years, but job creation tumbled unexpectedly, underscoring the challenges President Donald Trump faces to fulfill his 25-million-job pledge.

Meanwhile, the number of new jobs created in February to was revised down to 219,000 from 235,000 and January's gain was reduced to 216,000 from 238,000.

"We suspect the three-month average job gain of 178,000 is more indicative of the underlying trend in job growth", J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the Trump administration needed to start enacting policies to boost job growth instead of just talking about it. Those industries added 66,000 in February, but in March, only 16,000 jobs were added.

The retail trade, contracting in the throes of a long decline in foot traffic and sales, lost 30,000 positions.

A fall in construction jobs is at least partly to blame for the loss, the Department of Labor said Friday.

The biggest job gains came in professional and business services at 56,000, while mining added 11,000. The pace of job growth was sharply down from an average of almost 218,000 in the first two months of the year.

The household survey, unlike the payroll survey, captures farm workers, the self-employed and people who work for new companies. Construction added 6,000 jobs, down from 59,000 jobs added the previous month.

Hiring accelerated during the first two months of 2017.

There was some mildly good news for wages: they increased by 5 cents in March after rising 7 cents in February, coming to an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent.

CNNMoney recently profiled an older blue-collar worker in Pennsylvania named Joe who had struggled for years to find a job after the Great Recession. Within the service-providing sector, employment increases included 100 in information, 400 in financial activities, 200 in educational and health services, and 500 in leisure and hospitality.

  • Zachary Reyes