Mass. Adds 10,300 Jobs In December; Jobless Rate Dips To 7 Percent

The Massachusetts economy added 10,300 jobs in December, according to preliminary federal estimates, and the state's unemployment rate dipped to 7 percent, the Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.

Thursday's report also revised down the number of jobs Massachusetts gained in November — from an initial estimate of 6,500 to 5,100.

Overall, the state added 55,500 jobs throughout 2013, according to the preliminary estimates.

Three sectors powered Massachusetts' job growth in December: professional, scientific and business services (4,700 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (4,300); and leisure and hospitality (2,600).

Five sectors lost jobs last month: construction (1,300 jobs); manufacturing (300); education and health services (300); information (100); and government (100).

The state's unemployment rate remained above the national level, though it dipped from 7.1 percent in November to 7 percent in December; the current U.S. rate is 6.7 percent.

November was the first time in more than six years that the Massachusetts unemployment rate was above the national level.

The state's jobless rate went on a bit of a rollercoaster ride in 2013. It dropped to a low of 6.4 percent in March before rising to 7.2 percent later in the year.

Though Massachusetts gained an estimated 10,300 jobs last month, its labor force decreased by an estimated 1,900, compared with the November level, affecting the unemployment rate.

The jobs figures and the jobless rate are derived from separate surveys, so the two can exhibit differing trends. The preliminary estimates are subject to revisions.

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Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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