The U.S. job market maintains a robust stance with the addition of 236,000 jobs in March, according to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Despite falling slightly short of economist forecasts for 239,000 jobs, the February figures were revised higher from 311,000 to 326,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.5%, beating expectations of 3.6%.

The payrolls report comes ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s May 2-3 meeting, which will determine whether or not to continue with monetary policy tightening or pause the ongoing series of rate hikes that have lasted for over a year. The short-term rate futures markets predict a two-in-three chance of the Fed halting in May.

While the BLS report shows overall strength in the job market, earlier data from this week indicates some weakness. The ADP reported on Wednesday that only 145,000 private sector jobs were added in March, far lower than the expected 210,000.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported weekly initial jobless claims of 228,000, exceeding the forecast of 200,000. Additionally, the previous week’s initial claims were revised up to 246,000 from 192,000.