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Orange County added 8,800 jobs in March to maintain a 4% unemployment rate.

The local jobless rate, which isn’t seasonally adjusted, was down from 4.4% a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Local nonfarm jobs were up 3% year-over-year to 1,570,800.

Professional and business services firms added 4,300 jobs in March for a total of 292,000. About 93% of the hires were in administrative and support services, which includes temporary-help firms. The sector grew 3.3% in the past year.

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Educational and health services jobs increased by 2,900 to 205,900. Healthcare and social assistance accounted for 2,700 of the new positions. The sector was up 4.5% year-over-year.

Another 2,000 jobs came from the following sectors:

  • leisure and hospitality, up 900 jobs
  • construction, which added 600 jobs
  • manufacturing, with 300 jobs
  • trade, transportation and utilities, up by 100 jobs
  • government, which added 100

The financial activities sector shed the most jobs, 300, for a total of 116,100.

California’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.6% in March, down from 5.7% in February and from 6.5% a year earlier.

The unadjusted U.S. rate was 5.1%, versus 5.2% in February and 5.6% a year earlier.

The more widely reported seasonally adjusted numbers show California’s jobless rate was 5.4% in March and the nationwide rate 5%.