The U.S. created a larger-than-expected 303,000 new jobs in March and signaled the economy is still expanding at a solid pace, but the report won’t make it any easier for the Federal Reserve to decide when to cut interest rates.

The increase in new jobs was the biggest since May 2023.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 200,000 increase in new jobs last month.

The unemployment rate, meanwhile, slipped to 3.8% from 3.9%.

Before cutting interest rates, senior Fed officials have said they want to see the jobs market cool off a bit more and inflation slow further toward their 2% goal. A softer labor market can aid in the fight vs. inflation.

Job creation doesn't appear to have slowed much, though.

The one silver lining in an otherwise robust March employment report was a relatively modest 0.3% increase in hourly wages.

The increase in wages over the past year also slowed to 4.1% from 4.3%, marking the lowest level since June 2021.