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Economic Report: U.S. jobs growth slumps to 98,000 in March

U.S. jobs growth slumped in March.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. created just 98,000 new jobs in March to mark the smallest gain in almost a year and wage growth stagnated, perhaps a sign the labor market is not quite as strong as big hiring gains earlier in the year suggested.

The economy had added more than 200,000 jobs in January and February, but hiring was helped in part by unusually high temperatures in the dead of winter. As a result, economists polled by MarketWatch had estimated the number of new jobs created in March would taper off to 185,000.

Traditional retailers already under siege from Internet rivals slashed 30,000 jobs for the second straight month, the government said Friday.

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