PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The number of jobs in Philadelphia increased to its highest-ever March level since 2003.

City officials also said the unemployment rate declined to 8% in March 2014 from 8.3% in February, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Furthermore, the number of employed Philadelphians is at its highest point for a March since 2001, while the number of unemployed Philly residents is at its lowest point since December 2008.

“From the largest corporations to the smallest startups, businesses are increasingly choosing to start, stay and grow in Philadelphia,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Director of Commerce, in a release. “After some tough years we are now seeing growth month after month and the long list of exciting projects in the pipeline gives me great confidence that we will continue to add jobs and attract businesses to our city.”

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