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Mass. Unemployment Rate Jumps Full Percentage Point, To 6.9

BOSTON (AP) — Unemployment in Massachusetts has jumped to 6.9 percent in December, a full percentage point more than the previous month.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday that job losses last month totaled 16,800. Employment in the professional, scientific and business services faced the largest decline, losing 7,500 jobs.

November's unemployment rate — 5.9 percent — was the state's highest level in five years. The preliminary average for 2008 in Massachusetts was 5.1 percent, up from 4.5 percent in 2007.

The state's s jobless rate still remains below the national percentage, which was 7.2 percent in December. The nation's rate for 2008 was 5.8 percent.

This program aired on January 22, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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