The employment rate rose to 65 per cent last month from 64.4 per cent past year.
"To have such a small increase in the unemployment rate while more and more people are entering the labor force is really good news", said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.
First quarter employment gains were comparable to the previous quarter but much higher than at the start of 2016. Thomas jobless rate fell to 6 per cent in March, down from 6.2 per cent the month before. The U.S. unemployment rate shot to a 14-1/2 year high last month as employers slashed jobs by an unexpectedly steep 240,000, suggesting President-elect Barack Obama will face a deep recession when he takes office.
American job growth slowed sharply last month, surprisingly tumbling to its lowest level in almost a year - although bad weather probably depressed the numbers.
With files from The Canadian Press.
There was some mildly good news for wages: they increased by 5 cents in March after rising 7 cents in February, coming to an annual growth rate of 2.7 percent. The unemployment rate had been expected to come in unchanged.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 98,000 in March, a decline from February's downwardly revised figure of 219,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of part-time workers who would prefer full-time jobs declined. Manufacturing employment gained 11,000 jobs, slowing from the 26,000 positions created in February. Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs, while manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, leisure and hospitality, and information saw little change during the month, it said. While President Trump had recently tweeted a Fox Business clip that showed 263,000 jobs added, that was the less scientific ADP report.
But the lack of booming jobs numbers will need to be carefully massaged by the White House, after President Trump spent much of 2016 describing the United States economy in dire terms and claiming the employment gains reported under the Obama administration were a mirage.
Consumer and business sentiment has soared since the November presidential election, but the increased optimism has yet to translate into faster growth or hiring.