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State Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.1 Percent

The Labor Department says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in March, the eighth consecutive month without an increase.

Last month's rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point from April and far below the national rate for March of 7.6 percent.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan said Friday that Vermont's economy is moving from winter to spring employment. She says as the ski areas are winding down, the construction and hospitality sectors are gearing up and expected to be hiring.

But she says the Labor Department is concerned about possible job reductions in defense-related industries because of the automatic federal budget cuts.

Around the state, jobless rates ranged from a high of 7.6 percent in Newport to a low of 2.9 percent in the Warren-Waitsfield area.