Economists had been expecting non-farm payrolls to increase by 200,000, but some had even been looking for an increase of up to 240,000.
The numbers were around what most economists were expecting, however. And while they didn't show a much hoped for robust rebound in hring, they did offer evidence that the hiring slowdowns in January and February likely were influenced by the cold and snowstorms that swept the nation through the winter months.
February's 197,000 gain was revised upward by 22,000. January's total also moved higher in the revised count, from an anemic 129,000 to 144,000.
"Undoubtedly, there was some catch up in hiring following the inclement weather this winter," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board. "Still, the underlying hiring trend is encouraging, with more good news expected this spring and summer."
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