Overall, nonfarm payrolls rose 103,000 in March and the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, coming up short of Wall Street expectations. Economists had been expecting a payrolls gain of 193,000 and the unemployment rate to decline one-tenth of a point to 4 percent.
The construction industry was the jobs loser for the month, cutting 15,000 jobs in March after adding more than 60,000 in February.
The retail industry — which has fluctuated between net job gains and losses over the past few months — cut 4,400 jobs in March. The government said that employment declined by 13,000 in general merchandise stores, offsetting a gain of the same size in February. Over the past 12 months, employment in retail trade has shown little net change.
Correction: The retail industry cut 4,400 jobs in March. An earlier version misstated the month.