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Despite Jobs Gain, Mass. Unemployment Rate Rises In December

Massachusetts gained 7,500 jobs in December, but the state's unemployment rate rose from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent, according to a report released Thursday by the Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

The preliminary estimate of 7,500 jobs gained last month comes on the heels of a revised loss of 3,200 jobs in November. An earlier report estimated the state lost just 1,100 jobs.

Massachusetts remains below the national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. But the state's jobless rate has climbed by more than half a point since June.

In December, the state reported the most job gains in the education and health services sector, as well as in leisure and hospitality and construction.

Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews says the job growth is despite concerns about the fiscal cliff, falling exports and a slow U.S. economy.

"So there were many negative factors affecting our economy and yet still the state managed to grow," he said.

The sector that lost the most jobs in December was trade, transportation and utilities.

This program aired on January 17, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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