小编摘要：The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level in two years in March, and the government reported the economy made strong gains in creating jobs.
Friday's report from the Labor Department said the unemployment rate was 8.8 percent, one-tenth of a percent lower than the prior month. That is a full percentage point better than the rate in November.
The economy had a net gain of 216,000 jobs. All the job gains came in the private sector, which more than made up for losses in government jobs.
As the U.S. economy recovers from the worst recession in decades, the job market has lagged behind the gains seen in manufacturing, exports and other areas of the economy.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the job numbers mean the economy is showing signs of "real strength." In a speech near Washington, he said 1.8 million jobs have been created in a bit more than one year. He also pledged to continue working to bolster the economy so that every American who wants to work can find a job. He said economic issues are the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning, and the last thing he thinks about at night.
Economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute said the recovery is gaining traction, but warned it may take until 2018 to cut the jobless rate back to pre-recession levels.
Manufacturing is a key source of jobs and that sector has recovered more quickly than other areas. An economic report Friday said expansion in the factory sector slowed a bit in March after strong gains the previous month.
A separate report said U.S. construction spending has fallen to the lowest level in a decade as the sector continues to suffer from an oversupply of homes and slack demand for other buildings.