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U.S. Economy: Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Drops to Two-Year Low

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March as employers created more jobs than forecast, adding to evidence of a recovery in the labor market.

Payrolls rose by 216,000 workers last month after a 194,000 gain the prior month, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Economists projected a March increase of 190,000, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A separate report today showed U.S. manufacturing expanded at close to the fastest pace in seven years.