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MT unemployment steady at 5.6 percent in March

HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 5.6 percent in March while the national rate dropped by 0.1 percentage points to 7.6 percent.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy said Friday that Montana lost 700 payroll jobs in March. She says the numbers reflect a softening of the national economy because of federal efforts to address the national debt. Bucy says she believes the Montana economy has enough momentum to continue improving.

In February, Montana was 2,000 jobs away from regaining its pre-recession payroll employment peak. Bucy says she expects Montana to reach that mark within the next few months.