Small Businesses Increase Hiring

Jobs reports for March showed companies stepping up their hiring, including small businesses. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate for March  dropped to 8.8% a two-year low.

"Today we learned that we added 230-thousand private sector jobs last month.That makes 1.8 million private sector jobs created in the last 13 months and the unemployment rate has now fallen a full point in the last 4 months," President Obama said. "The last time that happened was during the recovery in 1984 where we saw such a significant drop in the unemployment rate."

A report by payroll company ADP found companies with fewer than 50 employees hired 102,000 new workers in March, about the same pace as in the three previous months, and more than double the pace of hiring last year.

ADP says most of the new jobs were in the service sector.

A separate report from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas reported sectors that are still firing, as well as those that are hiring, including small businesses.

Those still firing include telecommunications companies, entertainment and leisure--including the volatile restaurant business--as well as retail and legal firms.

Firms hiring include transportation companies, financial companies, electronics and computer firms.