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Hospital employment down in March

Employment at U.S. hospitals fell 0.7 percent in March 2009 to a seasonally adjusted 4,709,900 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.

The number of people employed was 700 fewer people than in February and 110,800 more than a year ago.

Without the seasonal adjustment, which removes the effect of fluctuations due to seasonal events, hospitals employed 4,697,500 people in March, 2,000 fewer than in February and 110,000 more than a year ago.

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Healthcare employment continued to trend up in March (+14,000); although, monthly job growth in the first quarter averaged 17,000 compared with 30,000 per month in 2008.

The overall unemployment rate in the United States rose four-tenths of a percentage point in March to 8.5 percent. The number of unemployed persons increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million.

Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons in the United States has grown by about 5.3 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.4 percentage points.