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US Unemployment Hits 5 1/2 Year Low



The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in more than five years in April, while the economy had the biggest net gain in jobs in two years.

Friday's report from the Labor Department says the U.S. jobless rate dropped four-tenths of a percent to 6.3 percent in April.

The economy had a net gain of 288,000 jobs.

Both figures were better than economists had predicted.

Job gains were seen in professional services, retail, food service, construction, and health care.

The upbeat report on the job market is a sharp contrast to recent disappointing figures on overall economic growth.

The U.S. GDP expanded very slowly in the first three months of this year, but experts blame that weak performance on temporary factors like unusually foul winter weather.

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