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The Boston Globe

Business

Dismal jobless report alarms

The US job market sputtered again in March as hiring slowed sharply, hundreds of thousands of Americans gave up job searches, and the percentage of Americans participating in the labor force fell to its lowest level since 1979, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Employers added only 88,000 jobs last month, just one-third of job gains in February and the fewest since June, when the economy struggled through the financial crisis in Europe. The unemployment rate slipped to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent in February, but the decline was primarily the result of nearly 500,000 Americans giving up looking for work — a sign that the US economy is still not growing fast enough to reemploy the millions who lost jobs in the last recession.

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