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BOSTON – The total unemployment rate in Massachusetts was 6.8 percent in December, down 0.2 of a percentage point from the November rate of 7.0 percent, and well below the national rate of 8.5 percent, the Mass. Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said last week.
According to a news release, the figure is the lowest monthly rate since December of 2008. The preliminary December estimates show a decrease of 6,200 jobs in Massachusetts, for a total of more than 3.23 million jobs.
The office said that four of the 10 private sectors added jobs in December with gains in trade, transportation and utilities; manufacturing; information and financial activities. The December job loss follows a revised 300 job gain in November originally reported as 5,000.
The office also said 40,700 jobs have been added in Massachusetts since December 2010, a growth rate of 1.3 percent, with 45,600 private-sector jobs added for a growth rate of 1.7 percent.
Since the unemployment rate peaked at 8.8 percent in October 2009, there are 88,900 more residents employed and 65,100 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force increased by 23,800. •