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Mass. Jobless Rate Fell To 8 Percent In March

The Massachusetts jobless rate fell to 8 percent in March. The March rate was down from 8.2 percent in February and 8.7 percent at this time last year.

The latest unemployment report shows that Massachusetts employers added 3,200 jobs in March. The sector with the biggest jobs gains was leisure and hospitality. The construction, manufacturing, education and health services sectors also added jobs.

"We always wish things would go faster," said Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, "but the most important thing is we're making progress, trying to continue to add jobs in all different sectors in every region of the state as best we can."

The financial services industry and transportation lost jobs in the state.

The net gains bring Massachusetts well below the national unemployment rate, which is closer to 9 percent.

"The labor market is improving. The economy is recovering," said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. "It would be nice if it were recovering fast or if the unemployment rate were falling faster. But we are on a growth path and conditions are slowing improving."

More than 280,000 people in Massachusetts are still looking for work.

This program aired on April 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.

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