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Baltimore unemployment down, Washington unchanged

The Baltimore skyline and Inner Harbor are seen in this file photo. The Baltimore area's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since before the recession. (AP Photo/Carlos Osario)

WASHINGTON — Baltimore’s unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in March, its lowest level since before the recession.

Baltimore’s unemployment rate was 5 percent in February, and 5.6 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics says unemployment rates fell in 270 of the nation’s metropolitan areas in March, rose in 98 and were unchanged in 19.

The Washington metro area’s unemployment rate was unchanged in March, at 4.1 percent, but down from 4.6 percent in March of 2015.

Among big cities, Austin, Texas, had the nation’s lowest unemployment rate last month, at 3.1 percent. Chicago had the highest big city jobless rate in March, at 6.6 percent.

Among all metro areas, Ames, Iowa, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, tied for the lowest March unemployment rate, at 2.4 percent. El Centro, California, had the highest, at 18.6 percent.

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