The pace of hiring slacked off for a second consecutive month. However, the economy has added private sector jobs for 26 consecutive months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Some economists attributed the dip in unemployment rate to more people falling off the extended unemployment compensation rolls and giving up.
Many economists believe an unusually warm winter pulled forward job creation at the expense of hiring that normally takes place in the spring.
The industry sector with the largest increase in hiring was professional services, with 62,000 new jobs, including a 21,000 gain in temporary jobs.
Other industries that boosted hiring included retail (29,000), health care (19,000), manufacturing (16,000) and bars and restaurants (20,000).
Government employment fell again, shedding 15,000 jobs, and transportation and warehousing lost 17,000 jobs.
Wisconsin's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 6.8 percent in March.
Wall Street was not impressed with today's jobs data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 160 points. The largest local decliners in the BizTimes Stock Index this morning were Assisted Living Concepts Inc. (down $2.91 to $16.26), ManpowerGroup (down $1.91 to #39.34) and Joy Global Inc. (down $1.71 to $66.88).