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Mass. Jobless Rate Dips To 8.2 Percent In February

State officials say Massachusetts employers added 15,400 jobs in February. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 8.2 percent last month, remaining below the national average of 8.9 percent.

The largest gains were in the education and health services sector, with one-third of the added jobs overall attributed solely to seasonal gains in education. Jobs were also added in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and financial activities.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray is encouraged by the breadth of job gains.

“It’s not any one industry we’re relying on,” Murray said, “but seems to be across the board, and that’s a positive sign.”

However, the manufacturing, construction and government sectors lost jobs.

The upbeat employment report comes as Fidelity Investments announced this week it would shift 1,100 jobs out of Massachusetts by the end of next year.

Murray, the acting governor as Gov. Deval Patrick returns from a trade mission abroad, says the new jobs report is good news, but could be better.

"It continues a positive trend over the last year," Murray said. "But there’s still a lot of work to do."

The preliminary estimates released Thursday by the state office of Labor and Workplace Development showed more than 3.2 million jobs in Massachusetts in February.

With additional reporting from The Associated Press.

This program aired on March 17, 2011. 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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