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April 1, 2011    

US unemployment rate drops further to 8.8%

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by Kay Murchie

The Labor Department has today revealed the unemployment rate in the US has fallen again from 8.9% in February to 8.8% in March - a two-year low.

It represents the fourth consecutive month that the rate has fallen with the economy creating 216,000 jobs in the month – far better than expectations.

The private sector continued to lead the way in job creation with 230,000 new jobs during the month, while manufacturing added 17,000 jobs in March.

Today’s figures suggest the labour market is gaining momentum.

Meanwhile, the figures come just a week after the Commerce Department revealed the US economy grew by an annualised 3.1% in the October to December period – higher than the previous estimate of 2.8%.

It was also slightly better than analysts forecast of a 3% growth rate.

The upward revision in GDP was attributed to higher consumer spending – which grew at an annual rate of 4% – the best showing for four years.

Consumer spending is closely monitored as it accounts for approximately 70% of total economic output.

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