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Area unemployment rate inches downward

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The metropolitan Springfield unemployment rate inched down to 8.5 percent in March, from 8.9 percent in February, according to U.S. Labor Department nonseasonally adjusted data released today.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Springfield’s metropolitan statistical area recorded a civilian labor force of 217,100 in March, down from 219,500 in February. The MSA comprises Greene, Christian, Webster, Dallas and Polk counties.

The number of unemployed also decreased in March to 18,400, not seasonally adjusted, from 19,600 in February.

A year ago, the Springfield area’s March unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.

The national unemployment rate in March was 9.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 10.2 percent a year earlier, according to the BLS. Missouri’s labor force gained 2,000 jobs, and the number of unemployed shrunk by 22,200, moving its March unemployment rate to 9.2 percent from 9.9 percent in February, according to the report.

Nonfarm payrolls in the Springfield MSA increased slightly to 190,100 employees in March from 189,200 in February.

The Springfield MSA joined 317 metropolitan areas that recorded lower unemployment rates in March, compared to a year earlier. Of the 372 metropolitan areas sampled, 44 reported higher unemployment rates, and 11 were unchanged from March 2010.[[In-content Ad]]

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