By  on May 5, 2008

WASHINGTON — The common theme running through the U.S. Labor Department's employment report was the loss of jobs — in the apparel and textile industry, the retail sector and the overall economy.

However, economists were somewhat encouraged the national employment picture was better than expected. The economy shed a less-than-anticipated 20,000 jobs in April, after losing a total of 240,000 jobs in the first three months of the year, and the unemployment rate improved slightly to 5 percent in April from 5.1 percent the previous month.

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