The United States economy gained 216,000 jobs in March, pushing the national unemployment rate to its lowest level in two years.
On April 1, the Labor Department reported that the jobless rate fell to 8.8 percent in March, which means that the figure has dropped a full percentage point in the last four months. It is the largest improvement in a four-month period since 1984, CNN reported.
Approximately 68 percent of industries have added jobs so far in 2011, the first year Republicans have controlled a Congressional chamber since 2006.
"The unemployment rate has broken through the sound barrier and is continuing to decline," Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Cal State-Channel Islands, told the media outlet. "The recovery in employment is here to stay."
In Maine, Republican lawmakers have proposed new legislation in an effort to encourage employers to hire more young workers. According to The Huffington Post, the state's House of Representatives has introduced legislation that would lower the minimum wage for new employees under the age of 20 to $5.25 per hour. In addition, it would eliminate the maximum number of hours 16- and 17-year olds can work on a school day, and allow minors under 16 to work up to four hours on a school day.
The state Senate is considering a measure that would allow 16- and 17-year olds to work until 11 p.m. on school nights, which would add an hour to the current law. Furthermore, teens would be able to work 24 hours per week, four more than the current mandate, the news source reported.