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Jobless rate on LI drops to 7.1 percent

Thousands of job seekers stood in line to

Thousands of job seekers stood in line to talk with representatives of about 80 employers last week during the Brooklyn Job Fair. (April 13, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Long Island’s unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent in March, the lowest rate  since December,  according to data released Tuesday afternoon by the state Labor Department. But the rate is still considerably above the pre-recession rate of 4.5 percent in March 2008.

Seasonal factors drove the unemployment rate down such as the pickup in hiring in construction and leisure and hospitality because of better weather and in retail trade because of Easter shopping, said James Brown, a labor market analyst for the state.

Hempstead Village had the highest unemployment rate in March, at 10.6 percent. And Rockville Centre had the lowest, 5.1 percent.

The state unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent in March, from 8.7 percent.

Shown above are job seekers at a job fair last week in Brooklyn.

Photo: Thousands of job seekers stand in line to talk with representatives of about 80 employers last week during a job fair in Brooklyn. (April 13, 2011)

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