(Columbus) - Ohio's unemployment rate rose just slightly in March.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services said Friday that the rate for March was 7.1 percent which was unchanged from February.

Ohio’s nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased 20,400 over the month from the revised 5,197,300 in February to 5,176,900 in March.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in March was 406,000, up from 405,000 in February. The number of unemployed has decreased by 19,000 in the past 12 months from 425,000. The March unemployment rate for Ohio was down from 7.4 percent in March 2012.

"The unemployment rate had been coming down fairly consistantly for more than two years. In the early part of 2013 we saw the unemployment rate increase in January and then hold relatively steady in February and March," said Ben Johnson, spokesman for ODJFS.

Despite what appears to be a slowing recovery, Johnson points out that the state has seen 115,000 jobs added.

Ohio's unemployment rate has remained about one percentage point below the national rate.

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