Mass. jobless rate falls to 6.5 percent

Mass. unemployment rate falls to 6.5 percent, state says jobs lost in downturn regained

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 6.5 percent in February and the office of Labor and Workforce Development says the state has now regained all the jobs lost during the recession.

Last month's jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from January and initial estimates showed a gain of 500 jobs in February.

Officials also released revised estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that 19,800 jobs were created in Massachusetts in January, about 2,800 more than initially estimated.

With those new numbers, Massachusetts now has about 14,000 more jobs than at the start of the recession in April 2008.

The state's unemployment rate remains more than a full point below the national rate, which fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February.

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