Job creation ground to a virtual halt in the US last month as employers in a range of industries began to shed workers, but despite that the unemployment rate fell, the government reported today. 

US employers added just 20,000 net new positions for the month, only a fraction of what economists had been expecting.

But the US jobless rate fell two tenths to 3.8%, its lowest level since October, according to the closely-watched Labor Department report.

Meanwhile, hourly wages saw their biggest gains in nearly a decade, more evidence of the tight labour market.