NEW YORK — The biggest increase in jobs in three years pushed interest rates to their highest level since before the worst days of the credit crisis in 2008.

With the stock market closed for Good Friday, investors had a shortened day of trading in the bond market to react to the Labor Department’s report that employers added the most jobs in March since before the recession began in December 2007.

Treasury prices fell after the report, sending their yields higher. Bond prices tend to fall as investors’ confidence grows and demand for safe-haven investments wanes.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.95 percent from 3.87 percent late Thursday, its highest level since last June and the latest sign of confidence that the U.S. economy is recovering.

Barclays Capital Research called the increase in hiring by private employers “solid.” Other analysts also said the numbers were encouraging, pointing to a higher open when stock trading resumes Monday.

It was an unusual day for investors, with the biggest economic news of the month coming out on a holiday for stock markets in the United States and Europe.

The Labor Department said employers added 162,000 jobs in March. Economists had forecast an increase of 190,000 jobs. However, private employers accounted for most of the growth. Some analysts had forecast that temporary government hiring for the 2010 census would play a bigger role.

The dollar also rose as confidence about the U.S. economy increased.


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