After fears of a winter slowdown, the U.S. job market showed relative strength in March.

The U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7% last month, the government reported today. Both were close to what economists had expected.

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EXCLUSIVE: President Barack Obama told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that some of the country’s largest corporations have signed on to a White House plan to boost the hiring of the long-term unemployed. The President will make a formal announcement on Friday.

“What we have done is to gather together 300 companies, just to start with, including some of the top 50 companies in the country, companies like Walmart, and Apple, Ford and others, to say: Let’s establish best practices,” Obama said in the exclusive interview, which will air on CNN over the next two days.

Obama’s move is in line with his pledge to use executive action on his agenda items that he hasn’t been able to get through Congress. The President announced on Tuesday that he was boosting the minimum wage for employees of federal government contractors through executive action.

Tapper’s interview airs on CNN’s “New Day” at 6 a.m. ET on Friday and will run in full on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” at 4 p.m. on Friday.

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IMAGINE: ‘Boss, I can’t come in today: Heavy period.’

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