The US added 236,000 new jobs in March, the latest sign that the labour market is beginning to cool as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) continues to hike interest rates.
The number of new jobs fell below the number added in February and the average monthly gain of 334,000 recorded in the last six months, but was largely in line with analyst expectations.
The unemployment rate hovered around 3.5 per cent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of jobs created in leisure, hospitality and healthcare fell compared to the previous six months, while jobs in government, business and professional services increased, the report added.
While more jobs are still being added, the report suggests that the labour market is gradually weakening as the Fed continues its tightening campaign, increasing interest rates for the ninth consecutive time last month. The Fed will meet again in early May.
Job openings fell by 632,000 to 9.9 million, the lowest level since May 2021, according to a report released by the bureau on Tuesday. Employment is also cooling in the private sector, with private employers added 145,000 jobs in March compared with 261,000 the previous month, according to payroll company ADP.
US stock markets were closed on Friday for the Easter holidays but fluctuated and ended up slightly higher on Thursday ahead of the data.