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(Jefferson City) (AP) – A new report says Missouri’s unemployment rate held steady last month at 6.7 percent, despite a net loss of 8,600 jobs.

The Department of Economic Development says the construction sector took the biggest hit in March, losing about 3,400 jobs. The agency notes that wintry weather could have been a factor.

Tuesday’s report also says the professional and business services sector lost 2,500 jobs, while the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost about 1,400.

Those declines were partly offset by gains of 1,600 jobs in educational and health services and 1,100 in financial activities.

Missouri’s civilian labor force numbered slightly less than 3 million in March, down about 3,000 from February. The labor force includes people with jobs and those who are unemployed but looking for work.

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