PORTLAND Portland s unemployment rate improved by 16 percent in March, compared to one year ago, according to statistics compiled by the Oregon Employment Department.

March unemployment stood at 7.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent in March 2011, according to Amy Vander Vliet, a regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

An estimated 99,900 area residents are currently unemployed and looking for work.

Portland-area employers added 600 jobs in March, which was fewer than expected based on seasonal trends, resulting in a seasonally adjusted loss of 4,200 jobs, Vliet explained in her report.

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