U.S. companies added 58,000 new jobs to their payrolls in March but payrolls for February were revised down and the unemployment rate rose more than expected to 5.7%, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Economists were generally expecting a jobless rate of 5.6%, with 50,000 new jobs added to the payroll.
The department revised February's reported payroll gain of 66,000 to a loss of 2,000. The combined gain of 56,000 for February and March was about half the 116,000 expected by analysts.
Most of the increase in payrolls last month came from the services industry, which added 118,000 jobs, the largest increase since September 2000. Temporary help services added 66,000 jobs but retail industries trimmed 6,000 and construction sliced 37,000, making up for seasonal distortions in February. The manufacturing industry cut 38,000 jobs in March, the smallest decline since December 2000.
Average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, in line with expectations and total hours worked in the economy rose 0.1%.