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The US Department of Labor reported last week that non-farm business payrolls declined by 108,000 in March, a larger-than-expected decline after a drop of 357,000 in February that was the largest since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Analysts say that the decline reflects concerns about the ongoing war in Iraq and faltering economic growth. The data prompted market optimism that it would cause the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates.
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