Job growth in the United State stumbled in March according to a new report released Friday morning.
Employers added a total of only 88,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Labor Department, about half the number many analysts were expecting. The number is far below the 254,000 increase in February and is the fewest number of new jobs created in nine months. One area where job growth was strong was construction, as the sector added 18,000 jobs in March.
The nation’s unemployment rate moved one tenth of a percent lower from the month before to 7.6%, but this also came as the nation’s labor force fell by nearly half a million people.
The report came two days after the payroll processing company ADP said the private sector added 158,00 jobs in March, less than the number created in February and January.
Trucking shed 6,900 jobs in March after gaining an upwardly revised 5,700 in February. The March figure is the largest decline in four years and the first drop after five months of straight increases.
When compared to trucking employment from the same time a year ago, 34,500 jobs have been added. Figures for trucking include jobs the for-hire sector and not those with private fleets or trucking jobs in other industries such as construction.