US adds 192,000 jobs in March; jobless rate unchanged at 6.7%

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States added 192,000 jobs in March and the jobless rate remained unchanged at 6.7 per cent, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The job growth was a shade below analysts' average estimate of 195,000 net new jobs, while the jobless rate was expected to dip to 6.6 per cent.

But the overall picture showed stronger gains in the first quarter, despite severe winter weather, than previously estimated.

The department upwardly revised job growth for January and February by a combined 37,000.

All of March's job growth was in the private sector, but the number of private non-farm payrolls added came in well below the 205,000 anticipated.

Still, the March pace of job creation was better than the average of 183,000 over the prior 12 months.

The jobless rate had been expected to dip back to 6.6 per cent, the level seen in January.