The US economy added just 126,000 jobs in March—not even close to the 248,000 economists had expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. The unemployment rate remained unchanged, at 5.5%. At the Journal, Paul Vigna calls the jobs number a "surprise," noting that's the slimmest gain since December 2013. In more gloomy news, February and January new jobs numbers were revised down: February saw 264,000 jobs added, not the previously reported 295,000, and January was revised from 239,000 to 201,000—after already having been revised from an original estimate of 257,000.
March's new jobs number breaks a 12-month streak of job gains above 200,000, the AP reports, noting that several factors have hampered economic growth, including winter weather, factory slowdowns, and lackluster construction activity. The quarter's slower hiring pace doesn't actually surprise Vigna, though. "Most of the other economic numbers have been pointing to a slower growth rate. The jobs report seemed to be the outlier. Now we see, though, that it wasn’t really an outlier. The BLS just needed to get enough data for the revisions." (Read more unemployment stories.)