Unemployment Rate Falls to Two-Year Low

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The unemployment rate in the U.S. has fallen to 8.8 percent, the lowest rate in two years, according to the Labor Department.

The Labor Department says private employers are making the difference.

The unemployment rate dipped from 8.9 percent in February to 8.8 percent in March. It has fallen a full percentage point in the last four months, the sharpest drop since 1983.

Private employers added an additional 230,000 jobs last month after added 240,000 new jobs in February. The new statistics mark the first time private hiring has topped 200,000 in back-to-back months since 2006.

"The U.S. labor market is finally making some serious progress," said Sal Guatieri, economist at BMO Capital Markets Economics.

Click play for an updated report with CBN News' Mark Martin.

The number of unemployed people dipped to 13.5 million in March, almost double since before the recession began in December 2007. But there is a bright side for job seekers.

Retailer Aaron's Inc. said this week that it plans to create almost 1,000 jobs in the United States and Canada this year. The company sells and leases residential furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories.

Google Inc. said earlier this year that it plans to hire more than 6,200 workers in 2011, the biggest expansion by the Internet's most profitable company. That would increase the company's work force by more than 25 percent.

"In the last two months, looks likes we may be getting an acceleration in job growth, which would be a good sign," said Keith Hall, commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Still, President Barack Obama cautioned against being overly optimistic.

"Despite that good news, everybody here knows we've got a lot more work to do," he said. "There are still millions of Americans out there that are looking for a job that pays the bills."

Energy prices are also skyrocketing, leading to extremely high prices at the pump.

Since the beginning of the year, the price for a gallon of gas has risen 50 cents.

The president hopes new clean energy jobs will help the job market to continue to grow.

Republicans said the job numbers for March are welcome news, but warned too much government spending is no April fool's joke.

"It's clear that we need to cut spending," said House Speaker John Boehner. "We need to stop unnecessary regulations and the threat of tax hikes, and pass the trade bills that are out there."

The 2.5 million jobs that could be created over the rest of this year is still only a small portion of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the recession.

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