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The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 192,000 workers were hired in March, below Wall Street's consensus forecast of 200,000. February's moderately strong number was revised up to 197,000 from 175,000.
The jobs gained came entirely from the private sector, while government hiring was frozen.
But job creation was not strong enough to bring down unemployment. Unemployment remained at an elevated 6.7 percent, a touch higher than the 6.6 percent forecast. 10.5 million people remain unemployed.
Average hourly earnings were unchanged, down from a 0.4 percent gain in February, missing expectations of a further 0.2 percent rise.
What does that mean for the economy? It means that the steady march back toward a stronger economy continues, although not quite at the pace that some would have hoped for. The Federal Reserve — now led by Janet Yellen, who was expected to take a strong stance on battling unemployment — will probably continue to taper its quantitative easing program for another month, however many (including myself) think that winding down easing is premature given that unemployment remains significantly elevated, and given that inflation remains low.