(CN) — Employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March, a slowdown in hiring in a still healthy jobs market, the Labor Department said Friday.
On average, since mid-2017, employers had been adding about 211,000 jobs a month.
Despite the decline in the rate of hiring after several robust months, the nation’s unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month.
Average hourly wages rose, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the department said.
The government also announced Friday that it is revising down its job growth estimates for January and February by a combined 50,000.
Economists on Friday suggested there are a number of possible reasons for the hiring slow down. It would simply be weather-related — particularly in the Midwest and Northeast. On the other hand, it might be a result of employers failing to find the workers they need.
The biggest jobs gains occurred in manufacturing, health care and white-collar jobs with 22,000 manufacturing positions created. Retail, however, fell, with 4,400 jobs lost during the month.