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December brought Mass. close to pre-pandemic employment

A job application (Getty Images)
A job application (Getty Images)

Massachusetts employers added a modest 6,300 jobs in December as the statewide unemployment rate ticked downward once again, remaining below the national level, labor officials announced Friday.

Total employment statewide increased by 6,300, reflecting slower growth than the revised gain of 15,800 jobs in November, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Massachusetts remains on the precipice of achieving pre-pandemic levels of employment. A survey of employers estimated 3,732,900 jobs in December, just shy of the 3,740,100 in February 2020 before the COVID-19 crisis prompted the loss of more than 690,000 positions.

In terms of unemployment, the rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.3 percent in December, two-tenths of a point below the national average for the same month.

Gov. Maura Healey kicked off her first-term legislative push by unveiling a $987 million "immediate needs" bond bill on Thursday to invest in housing and economic development, including $400 million for the MassWorks Infrastructure Program that helps drive new job growth.

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