The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday the unemployment rate in March remained at a 17-year-low of 4.1-percent for the sixth straight month.
U.S. employers added 103,000 jobs in March, less than the 175,000 analysts expected, following several months of larger increases. The modest job creation was partly caused by the loss of 15,000 construction jobs and 4,400 retail positions. There were job gains in manufacturing, health care, mining and other sectors, but the rate of those increases slowed.
Average hourly wages climbed in March and were 2.7 percent higher than they were a year ago.
Although fewer jobs than expected were added in March, the U.S. economy appears to be healthy. The recovery from the Great Recession that ended in 2009 is now the second-longest expansion since the mid-19th century.