The Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate in March fell to 8.8 percent, which is a two-year low. The Labor report showed that businesses were adding employees at the fastest two-month pace since the recession began.
The layoffs by local municipal governments were offset by job increases in retail, education, health care and other professional services. In total the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month.
Almost all the job gains came from the private sector, which is also what happened in February. The private sector added 240,000 jobs in February and 230,000 jobs in March. Another positive sign for the economy is that private sector hiring has shown increases of over 200,000 back-to-back and it has not done this since 2006.
The unemployment rate dipped from 8.9 percent in February to 8.8 percent in March. The rate has fallen a full percentage point over the last four months, the sharpest drop since 1983.