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Nationwide unemployment rate drops from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent in March

April 6, 2012

Online Staff Report

The nationwide unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent in February to 8.2 percent in March, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday, April 6.

The economy added a lower-than-expected 120,000 jobs in March, breaking a streak of three straight months of job gains exceeding 200,000.

The March number of 120,000 jobs added was much lower than Wall Street projections, which had payrolls increasing by 203,000.

We welcome today’s news that our businesses created 121,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked down,” President Barack Obama said April 6 at the opening of a White House forum on women and the economy. “It’s clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way, and we’ve got more work to do.”

Retailers lost 34,000 jobs in March, construction lost 7,000 jobs, temporary work lost 7,500 jobs, and government jobs dropped by 1,000. However, manufacturing continued its upswing, gaining 37,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate dropped slightly because 333,000 Americans left or didn’t join the labor force last month.

As reported March 29 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the Rockford area gained 4,200 jobs in February, dropping its unemployment rate to 12.8 percent. The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.9 percent.

Posted April 6, 2012

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