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Jobless Rate In Mass. Holds Steady In Jan.

State officials say the unemployment rate in Massachusetts remained at 8.3 percent in January while the state added 5,600 jobs.

The Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that preliminary estimates for the month showed more than 3.2 million residents had jobs in Massachusetts, while about 290,000 were unemployed.

The jobless rate was unchanged from December, but was a half-point lower than the 8.8 percent rate in January 2010.

Massachusetts also remains below the current national unemployment rate of 9 percent.

Gov. Deval Patrick called the latest jobs report "good news, but not good enough." The governor said he's happy to see the number of jobs go up, but wants to see unemployment go down.

"You know it takes time," said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne Goldstein. "The economy did very poorly for a while, as you know, and it takes time to get back to where we want it to be."

Officials say job gains were seen in several sectors including construction; education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; and financial activities.

"What stands out to me is we are gaining jobs in sectors that Massachusetts has a high investment in," Goldstein said, "such as professional, scientific and business services, information, education and health services, financial activities."

Sectors that lost jobs in January included manufacturing, government, and the leisure and hospitality industry.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press.

This program aired on March 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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