The U.S dollar and the yield on the 10 year Treasury dropped following news that the U.S. economy added 126,000 non-farm payroll jobs in March, the weakest increase since December 2013, and easily missing the 260,000 estimate from briefing.com, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported today.
Despite the weaker than expected job growth in March, over the past 12 months, job gains have averaged 269,000.
The job numbers for January and February were revised lower by 69,000.
January was revised from 239,000 to 201,000 and February was revised from 295,000 to 264,000.
Job gains have averaged 197,000 per month over the past 3 months.
The weaker that expected job gains in March which fell below 200,000 ended the month gain of over 200,000 jobs for 12 consecutive months.
Jobs gains in March were most robust in professional and business services which saw increases of 40,000 followed by healthcare at 22,000.
In March the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours while average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents to $24.86.
During the past year, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.1 percent, a little higher than the annual rate of inflation.
The labor force participation rate in March was mostly changed at 62.7 percent.
Since April 2014, the participation rate has remained within a narrow range of 62.7 percent to 62.9 percent.