WASHINGTON: Discounters and department stores added jobs to payrolls in March while specialty stores cut back, as job growth in the broader economy was strong but the unemployment rate ticked up, the monthly U.S. Labor Department report revealed Friday.

Department stores added 3,900 seasonally adjusted jobs to employ 1.3 million last month, while general merchandise store employment, a category that includes department stores and discount stores, rose 12,000 to 3.2 million. Apparel and accessories stores shed 4,400 jobs to employ 1.38 million.

In manufacturing, employment in textile mills making apparel fabrics and yarns fell 400 to 114,400, while employment at mills making home furnishings products increased 300 to 117,900. Apparel manufacturers cut 800 jobs to employ 133,600.

In the overall economy employers added 215,000 jobs in March and unemployment rose slightly to 5 percent.