US Job Creation Plunges, but Rate Drops to 7.6%
Published: Friday, 5 Apr 2013 | 8:30 AM ET
Job creation slowed to a crawl during March, with the U.S. economy creating just 88,0000 positions though the unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent.
The number was a sharp slide from February's upwardly revised 268,000.
The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payroll growth eased amid hopes that the economy had begun to achieve the escape velocity needed for sustained growth.
Friday's report fell short of economist expectations of 200,000 new jobs, though it did confirm some of the weakness in recent reports.
With speculation rising that the Federal Reserve soon would start winding down its asset purchase program, the weak jobs report probably keeps the central bank on hold at least through the end of the year.
The drop in the jobless rate was little more than a statistical anomaly, with the labor-force participation rate tumbling to a 35-year low.