The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent in March, but most analysts agreed that hiring has slowed with only a net 88,000 jobs added to American payrolls during the month.
The retail sector lost 24,000 jobs. The U.S. Postal Service shed an additional 12,000 jobs. And while the construction and health care industries reported some gains, they brought in fewer jobs compared to previous months.
Analysts had expected a job gain closer to 200,000 workers.
Though the unemployment rate is the lowest in four years, March's pace of job creation was the slowest in nine months.
The drop in the labor force sent the share of the population that is either employed or looking for work to approximately 63 percent, the lowest rate since 1979.
Meanwhile, a Gallup report released April 4 showed that the percentage of Americans holding full-time jobs has remained essentially unchanged over the past year.