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Mass. Unemployment Up Slightly At 8.2 Percent

The Massachusetts unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent in November as the state lost 8,600 jobs.

The rate is up slightly from 8.1 percent in October, but still well below the national rate of 9.8 percent.

One reason the jobless rate rose is more households surveyed said they have gone back to looking for work. That can be seen as a positive sign of an economic recovery. But the recovery that appeared stronger earlier in the year has weakened.

“The story is fairly clear,” said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. “The state’s economy has slowed, but is growing.”

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday that preliminary November estimates show most of the job losses came in the leisure and hospitality sector, which shed 6,100 jobs.

“This is typically a slow time of year for construction, leisure and hospitality,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne Goldstein. “So I’m not sure the change in the pace of job growth at this time of year has any significance.”

Other sectors saw gains, including education and health services, which added 2,100 jobs in November.

“We think (the economy) is still moving in the right direction at a pace that we are OK with,” Goldstein added.

For the year, jobs are up 32,000 in Massachusetts, including 31,300 private sectors jobs and 700 government jobs.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

This program aired on December 16, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.

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