BOSTON Massachusetts lost 5,500 jobs in March while the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary estimates, released by the state.
The two data points are based on separate surveys.
Massachusetts initially reported gaining 500 jobs in February but revised numbers released Thursday show the state lost 800 jobs in February.
In the first three months of 2013, Massachusetts has gained 12,600 jobs, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
The state’s unemployment rate was last as low as 6.4 percent in November 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The professional, scientific and business services sector lost 3,400 jobs over the month, and the financial activities sector lost 1,200 over the month. Education and health services gained 2,200 jobs over the month, according to the estimates.