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Unemployment falls in 80 pct. of large cities

The unemployment rate fell last month in more than 80 percent of the nation's largest metro areas, adding to evidence that the recent pickup in hiring is widespread.

The unemployment rate fell last month in more than 80 percent of the nation's largest metro areas, adding to evidence that the recent pickup in hiring is widespread.

The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell in 303 of the nation's 372 largest cities in March. That's up from the more than the 287 cities that reported a drop the previous month and the best showing since September. The rate rose in 43 cities and was unchanged in 26.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate dipped to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and has dropped a full percentage point since November. Businesses added a net total of more than 200,000 jobs in March and February, the fastest two-month hiring spree in five years.

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