The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in March, the lowest level in almost a decade, from 4.7 percent, and an encouraging sign for the job market.
On the other had, professional and business services, which tend to spur the use of office space, gained 56,000 positions, which is more-or-less in line with that average gains of the last 12 months.
The low US unemployment rate is at a level that most economists consider full employment - a state when businesses find it hard to hire people.
"To have such a small increase in the unemployment rate while more and more people are entering the labor force is really good news", said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum. The pace of job growth was sharply down from an average of almost 218,000 in the first two months of the year.
Mining saw a gain of 11,000 jobs, and health care added 14,000 jobs in March. Bloomberg said the fact that the jobless rate fell even as job creation did suggests that the market is returning to more normal conditions.
Most economists had expected a drop-off in hiring in March after robust gains in both January and February, but the drop was worse than projected. America only added 98,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department. Retail lost a significant number of jobs in March, 29,700, after losing 26,000 in February, a potential fallout of continued trouble in the sector.
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PNC Bank economist Gus Faucher says the job market "is getting tighter and business are finding it more hard to hire".
Despite the decline, Meigs County held steady in second place out of 88 counties, in terms of having the highest unemployment rate in the state.
WASHINGTON - Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign of the job market appears to be increasingly secure for workers.
Weather-related disruptions to the economy could have slowed hiring in March, and employers could be finding it more hard to fill job openings as labor market slack diminishes.
Economists attribute some of the improvement in the participation rate to President Donald Trump's electoral victory last November, which might have caused some unemployed Americans to believe their job prospects would improve.