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Florida unemployment rate drops to 4.8 percent

California's unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent last month, reaching the lowest point in a decade, state officials announced Friday.

Across the country, unemployment rates fell to record lows in four USA states last month after months of steady job creation nationwide.

"Unemployed Iowans continued to leave the labor force in March", Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend said in a statement.

That further drop in Florida's unemployment rate is good news because it may portend faster growth in wage levels, said Mekael Teshome, Florida anaylst for PNC Bank.

The department, which presented its monthly employment situation report for March, said it was the fourth consecutive decline, resulting in the lowest rate since February 2008.

The Orlando area led the state in job creation, adding 42,700 new private-sector jobs in March, according to the Governor's Office.

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In all, the Labor Department said unemployment rates fell in 17 states in March and were mostly unchanged in 33.

Annual inflation was 5.4% in March compared with 3.4% at the end of previous year, and is expected to accelerate further in following months.

When individuals stop looking for work, they are no longer considered unemployed for the objective of calculating the jobless rate. Unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in the state's three principal metro areas of Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, the department said. The labor participation rate is the percentage of all Georgia residents at least 16 years old who are in the labor force. "Our focus is on implementing a 2-year budget that reduces the overall tax burden on all Mainers and continues to promote this type of job growth".

According to the Dept. of Labor, the state added 1,400 seasonally adjusted, non-farm jobs in March, 500 of them in the private sector. Other metrics also showed falling unemployment in the Pine Tree State. CT had the highest unemployment in New England at 4.8 percent. The last time Hawaii's unemployment rate was 2.7 percent was in June 2007. MA was at 3.6 percent and Rhode Island was 4.3 percent.

Colorado, with a March unemployment rate of 2.6 percent, was among four states with the lowest rates since 1976.

Job growth in South Florida was driven in March by gains in construction, education and healthcare, and the category of workers that includes lawyers, accountants, architects and advertisers.

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