Jobless Rate Falls To 7.6%, Just 88K New Jobs

Source: Paul Davidson / USA Today

Employers added a disappointing 88,000 jobs in March after adding 268,000 jobs in February, confirming fears of a hiring slowdown that economists say could persist for several months. The number of new jobs is fewer than half what economists had forecast.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.6% from 7.7%, largely because 496,000 Americans stopped working or looking for work, thus leaving the labor force, the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly employment report. The portion of Americans in the labor force fell from 65.5% to 65.3% — lowest since 1979.

Futures trading on Wall Street in major indexes began sinking as soon as the report was released. And investors fled to the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, where prices soared and yields plummeted. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note plunged to 1.68%, lowest since December.

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