By Frederick H. Lowe
The nation’s employers added fewer jobs in March than experts predicted, and some are blaming the snow.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm businesses added 103,000 jobs, lower than the predicted 185,000 jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent.
The black unemployment rate was 6.9%, the same as in February. The March jobless rate for whites was 3.6 percent; the jobless rate for Asians was 3.1 percent, and the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 5.1 percent.
In February, the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, reported that the black unemployment rate in 18 states and the District of Columbia was at least double the white unemployment rate at the end of 2017.
The British Broadcasting Co. reported cold weather may have contributed to the slowdown. EPI said March’s figure was likely depressed because of harsh weather. For example, construction, which is tied to the weather, increased by 65,000 jobs in February and then fell by 15,000 in March, EPI reported.
The low unemployment rate also may have made it difficult for companies to find workers.In March, employment grew in manufacturing, health care and mining.