The White House said that the budget sequester is partly to blame for the anemic employment numbers.
The economy added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp drop after a period of stronger hiring.
Experts fear the new figures may forecast a weak Spring.
Government figures show employers added only about 88,000 jobs last month, about half as many as the previous six months.
The unemployment rate did fall to 7.6 percent, its lowest level in four years, but some experts said that's deceptive.
"Half a million Americans, one half of one million Americans, quit looking for jobs in March," said Yahoo! Finance 'Breakout' Host, Jeff Macke. "That means, they just gave up and they stopped looking so that's how you get the unemployment rate to look lower because you shrink the pool."
Some of the biggest cuts were in retail, where 24,000 jobs were eliminated, economists said, in part because of the weather.
Temperatures were well below normal, stranding Spring merchandise on store shelves.
And there could be more rough going ahead.
Economists said the full impact of the federal 'sequester' budget cuts won't be reflected in the jobs numbers until next month.