March 28 (Bloomberg) — Payrolls increased in 33 states in February and the unemployment rate fell in 29, a sign the labor market is making progress across much of the country.

California led the nation with a 58,800 gain in employment last month, followed by Texas with a 37,600 increase, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.

The improvement indicates the economy is overcoming harsh winter weather, which slowed construction and kept some shoppers from stores such as Brown Shoe Co. Inc. Bigger job gains could help boost consumer confidence and household spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.

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