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Gannett profit jumps 51 percent; Area jobless figures are mixed

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

LOCAL EARNINGS

Gannett profit jumps 51 percent

McLean-based Gannett said its first-quarter earnings rose 51 percent, to $117.2 million compared with $77.4 million in the year-earlier quarter, even though revenue declined 4 percent, to $1.32 billion.

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Gannett, the owner of USA Today and other newspapers and broadcast outlets, has remained profitable largely by slashing expenses. Last year it cut 1,400 jobs.

-- Associated Press

JOBS

Area unemployment figures mixed

Unemployment rates in March were mixed in the communities surrounding Washington, according to federal government data released Friday, rising in Virginia, stabilizing in Maryland and dropping in the District.

Virginia's jobless rate rose to 7.4 percent, from 7.2 percent in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 7.4 percent rate is the highest since February 1983, when it was 7.6 percent, Virginia employment officials said.

Maryland's rate remained at 7.7 percent, and the District's dropped to 11.6 percent from 11.9 percent. The District's rate remains well above the national unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.

Virginia and Maryland, however, were the states with the biggest job gains, according to the BLS, with Maryland adding 35,800 jobs and Virginia 24,500. For Maryland, it was the first monthly jobs gain since February 2008, and the number of jobs added was the most in a month since January 1970, state officials said.

Economists said those jobs gains were offset largely by an influx of unemployed people who resumed their job search after having left the labor force. "I think you probably are seeing people come into the labor force. You do have that increase in the number of unemployed," said Ann D. Lang, senior economist at the Virginia Employment Commission.


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