EMPLOYMENT in the United States rose far less than expected in March, keeping the door open for further monetary policy support from the Federal Reserve, even as the jobless rate fell to a three-year low of 8.2 per cent.
Employers added 120,000 jobs last month, the US Government said, the smallest increase since October. Economists had expected non-farm employment to increase 203,000 and the jobless rate to hold at 8.3 per cent.
The slowdown in employment growth last month probably reflected the fading boost from unseasonably warm winter weather. It supported the caution on the labour market from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke last week, who expressed doubts recent gains could be sustained.