The unemployment rate stayed flat in March, while job additions widely missed the mark
The US added 103,000 new jobs in March, according to the latest non-farm payroll figures.
Ahead of the data release, Wall Street was looking for growth of about 185,000 and a decline in the unemployment rate to 4 per cent from 4.1 per cent. Unemployement held at 4.1 per cent, the numbers showed.
In February, the US added 313,000 jobs, smashing through expectations of 200,000.
The pound rose sharply against the dollar following the announcement.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said the jobs number was a "big miss".
"The market reaction is adverse and gold has moved higher on the back of this. Today’s data is not something which Trump will be tweeting about," he added.
However, Kully Samra, UK managing director at investment group Charles Schwab, said: “This is a healthy jobs report, reinforcing the view that the US economy shows few signs of slowing down. Risks to growth are rising as trade issues emerge and the Federal Reserve continues its tightening campaign but, for the time being, market fundamentals remain supportive of an ongoing bull market.
“The Fed indicated a continued steady pace of hikes alongside an upward move in its summary of economic projections – all of which should be beneficial in the near term to stock markets."
The US construction industry showed a loss of 15,000 jobs last month, which is likely to be a reflection of the extreme weather conditions that prevailed on the East Coast throughout March.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also made revisions to its non-farm payroll reports for the previous two months, meaning employment gains in January and February combined were 50,000 less than previously reported.
According to jobs data from payroll giant ADP earlier this week, the American private sector added 241,000 net new jobs last month.