Job growth totaled 236,000 in March, more than expected as the pace of hiring slowed.

Nonfarm payrolls rose in line with expectations in March as the labor market showed signs of slowing.

The Labor Department reported Friday that payrolls rose by 236,000 in the month, compared with the Dow Jones estimate for 238,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent, against expectations of 3.6 percent.

Although close to economists’ expectations, the total was the lowest monthly gain since December 2020.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.3%, along with a gain in wages, bringing the 12-month increase to 4.2%, the lowest level since June 2021.

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