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4/04/2005

Manufacturing Lost 8,000 Jobs in March

The manufacturing sector of the economy continued to lose jobs last month, and the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported disappointing job numbers for March.

BLS said manufacturing lost 8,000 jobs in March and that only 110,000 new jobs had been created last month, less than half the number predicted by many economists. The BLS reported the March job figures on April 1.

Textile and apparel lost 7,000 in March, BLS said. Job losses in air transportation continue to mount, BLS added, bringing to 127,000 the number of positions lost in that sector in the last four years.

Many economist were predicting large job gains for March, with a consensus of around 200,000. Bloomberg News’ survey or 74 economists predicted job gains of 262,000 for March.

The March job figures reflect an increase in the percentage of people who say jobs are hard to find, the Conference Report said March 30. The New York-based research group said the percentage of people who feel jobs are harder to find rose to nearly 24 percent in March. The Conference Board also said its confidence index fell to 102.4 in March, down from 104.4 in February.

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