Employers Slash 80,000 Jobs in March

U.S. employers cut 80,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, confirming fears of an economic downturn. The decrease was the third monthly drop in employment and was worse than the anticipated drop of 60,000 jobs. Over the past three months, payroll employment has declined by 232,000.  In March, employment continued to fall in construction, manufacturing, and employment services, while health care, food services and mining added jobs.  Average hourly earnings rose by $0.05, or 0.3 percent, over the month. The number of unemployed persons increased by 434,000 to 7.8 million in March, and the unemployment rate rose by 0.3 percentage point to 5.1 percent.  Since March 2007, the number of unemployed persons has increased by 1.1 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by seven-tenths of a percentage point.

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