Fewer U.S. states reported job gains in March, reflecting slower hiring nationwide.

The more sluggish job growth coincides with more people seeking unemployment benefits in the past month. The trends suggest that hiring could slow in coming months.

Job gains were reported in 29 states last month, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s worse than February, when 42 states added jobs. Nationwide in March, employers added only 120,000 jobs, half the pace of the previous three months.

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