Unemployment Rate Hits Two-Year Low

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Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

It's still a lot higher than anyone would like it to be, but March's 8.8 percent unemployment represents the continued slow, grueling progress that is our economic recovery. The economy added a net of 216,000 jobs, with the private sector accounting for 230,000 of them and the public sector accounting for negative 14,000 of them because of layoffs of state and local government workers. As the AP notes, this is "the first time private hiring topped 200,000 in back-to-back months since 2006 — more than a year before the recession started." We hope the Labor Department is not playing a cruel April Fool's joke on us. [AP via WP]