By Paul Davidson, USA Today–
Employers added a disappointing 103,000 jobs in March as colder weather appeared to crimp hiring after solid employment gains the first two months of the year.
The unemployment rate, which is calculated from a different survey, was unchanged at 4.1%, a new 17-year low, the Labor Department said Friday.
Economists expected 185,000 new jobs, according to a Bloomberg survey. In February, unseasonably warm weather pulled forward hiring in industries such as construction and retail, leading to blockbuster job gains that topped 300,000. That followed more than 200,000 payroll advances the prior month. Some economists forecast a sharp offsetting slowdown to 150,000 or less in March. Goldman Sachs said unusually high snowfall last month likely shaved payroll additions by 30,000 to 60,000.
As a result, a weak showing was likely to be seen as a blip rather than a sign of a weakening labor market.