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Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in March from a revised 3.1% in February and well below the 3.7% reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

California’s unemployment rate was 4.2%, and the U.S.’s was 4.1%. The most recent March numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted. Orange County's lowest-ever unemployment rate was 2.2% in December 1999.

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Nonfarm OC employment increased 1,500 jobs month-over-month to 1.63 million.

Five of 11 sectors reported increases. The biggest was a 2,600 jump in education and health workers. Leisure and hospitality added another 2,200 jobs.

The biggest decline was 1,800 in construction and 1,200 each in manufacturing and financial activities.

About 17 million people were working in California in March, down about 7,200 from February and up 290,000 from a year earlier.

Statewide, three of 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by educational and health services, followed by manufacturing, up 1,900. The “other services” sector, which includes auto repair and laundry services, reported the biggest decrease, down 4,600, followed by trade, transportation and utilities, which fell 4,400.

People receiving unemployment benefits rose from 396,030 in February to 420,505. A year earlier, the number was 420,505.