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Business news in brief

In the Region

Jobless rate down in 21 states

Pennsylvania and 20 other states saw their unemployment rates decrease in March, the U.S. Labor Department said. Meanwhile, 17 states, including New Jersey, and the District of Columbia had increases, and 12 states had no change, the department reported. Pennsylvania's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in March, from February's 6.2 percent, and was down significantly from 7.7 percent in Pennsylvania in March 2013. New Jersey's unemployment rate ticked up to 7.2 percent in March, from 7.1 percent in February. But, New Jersey's March rate also was down from 8.7 percent in March 2013. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier and four states had increases. The national jobless rate in March was unchanged from February at 6.7 percent. - Reid Kanaley

Rothman opens in Limerick

The Rothman Institute, the region's largest orthopedic practice, announced the opening of a 15,000-square-foot medical office building with 24 exam rooms in Limerick. The new facility is next door to Physicians Care Surgical Hospital, in which Rothman bought a 35 percent stake in 2012. An orthopedic urgent care center, Rothman Institute's second in the region, will be added this summer, Rothman said. - Harold Brubaker


Airline retiree cuts blocked

A federal judge told American Airlines that it cannot yet act alone to cut off benefits for many retirees. American wants retirees who wish to keep their benefits to pay all the cost. Now the dispute could go to negotiations or a trial. Bankruptcy Court Judge Sean Lane in New York rejected a request made by former parent AMR Corp. for summary judgment allowing it to immediately eliminate benefits for retired pilots, flight attendants, and other union workers. He granted AMR's request for a group of nonunion workers. AMR merged with US Airways in December. - AP

Mazda recalls Tribute SUVs

Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts. The recall covers SUVs from the 2001 through 2004 model years. Mazda says in documents filed with U.S. safety regulators that the frame can rust and a wheel control arm can separate from it. That could result in a loss of steering control. Dealers will install a reinforcement brace to fix the problem. Mazda says it will notify owners by letter when parts are available. - AP