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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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US adds just 88,000 jobs; rate drops to 7.6 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown may signal that the economy is heading into a weak spring.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent, the lowest in four years, from 7.7 percent. But the rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work. People who are out of work are no longer counted as unemployed once they stop looking for a job.

The percentage of working-age adults Americans with a job or looking for one fell to 63.3 percent in March, the lowest such figure in nearly 34 years.

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KFC to offer easy-to-eat boneless chicken

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ In case Americans want to scarf down their fast-food even faster, KFC is stripping the bones out of its chicken.

The fast-food chain says it's introducing deep-fried boneless chicken pieces on April 14 as an alternative to its traditional breast, thigh and drumstick pieces.

The new offering reflects the growing popularity of nuggets and strips that are easier to eat on the go, as well as Americans' seemingly endless desire for more convenient foods. KFC says nearly four out of five servings of chicken sold in the U.S. are now boneless.

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Facebook barges into Google turf with Home

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Facebook Home, the new software that takes over the front screen of a smartphone, is a bit of a corporate home invasion. Facebook is essentially moving into Google's turf, taking advantage of software the search giant and competitor created.

Home will operate on phones running Google Inc.'s Android software and present Facebook status updates, messages and other content on the home screen, rather than making the user fire up Facebook's app. The software will be available for users to download on April 12 and will come preloaded on a new phone from HTC Corp., sold by AT&T Inc. in the U.S.

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