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Kansas unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9 percent in March

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Unemployment held steady in Kansas during March, staying at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.9 percent in March, the same as in February.

The Kansas Department of Labor says Thursday that the rate compares with 5.5 percent from March 2013.

Labor officials say that Kansas added 2,200 private-sector jobs in March and more than 17,000 in the past 12 months. Secretary Lana Gordon says the state has gained more than 50,000 private-sector jobs since January 2011.

Economist Tyler Tenbrink says the increase in the number of hours worked weekly as well as hourly earnings suggested employers are hiring more workers to respond to increased demand for goods and services.

The agency also says first-time benefit claims fell in March to 9,669.

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