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U.S. Employment Climbs Much Less Than Expected In March

Employment in the U.S. rose by much less than anticipated in the month of March, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Friday, although the unemployment rate still fell to its lowest level in almost ten years.

The Labor Department said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 98,000 jobs in March after surging up by a revised 219,000 jobs in February.

Economists had expected an increase of about 180,000 jobs compared to the jump of 235,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the weaker than expected job growth, the unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in March from 4.7 percent in February. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged.

With the unexpected decrease, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since hitting 4.4 percent in May of 2007.

The report also said the annual rate of growth in average hourly employee earnings slowed to 2.7 percent in March from 2.8 percent in February.

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