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Job creation slows in March

Unemployment drops slightly with 120,000 jobs added

Is job growth stalling?

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy had added just 120,000 jobs in March, breaking a trend of robust economic data since the end of 2011.

The latest numbers were well below the 203,000 expected, according to MSNBC.

For the White House, four straight months of job growth would have nice: With a GOP nominating contest now entering its last lap ahead of November’s presidential election, the question of the Obama administration’s stewardship of the economy will in large part determine the political fortunes of both Democratic and Republican candidates.

Republicans were likely to seize on today’s report to prevent Democratic claims that the economy was in an unambiguous recovery.

As a result of the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, the United States has lost about 5.3 million jobs but the current rate of job creation would not replace them until 2014, according to MSNBC.

The recent upticks in hiring and consumer confidence appear to have had an effect on the public’s mood, however.

A Gallup poll last month found that more Americans were now optimistic about finding work than at any time since before President Obama took office.

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Nineteen percent of Americans believed that March was a good time to find a “quality job,” the poll found.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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