Fewer states report job gains for the month of March

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer U.S. states reported job gains last month, reflecting a slower pace of hiring nationwide.

The Labor Department says that 29 states reported job gains in March, while 20 states lost jobs. That's worse than February, when 42 states added jobs.

Still, the unemployment rate fell in most states: 30 states reported lower rates in March while 8 reported increases. Rates were unchanged in 12 states.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent. But employers added only 120,000 jobs, half the pace of the previous three months.

That dip in hiring, along with recent increases in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits, has raised some concerns that job gains could slow in coming months.


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