Mass. Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.2 Percent

By The Associated Press

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Mar. 17, 2011

BOSTON — State officials say the Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped by a percentage point to 8.2 percent in February as the state added more than 15,000 jobs. The rate, which fell from 8.3 percent in January, remains below the national average of 8.9 percent.

Preliminary estimates released Thursday by the state office of Labor and Workplace Development showed more than 3.2 million jobs in Massachusetts in February. The largest gains during the month were in the education and health Services sector. Jobs were also added in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; and financial activities.

Manufacturing, construction and government lost jobs.

The upbeat employment report comes as Fidelity Investments announced this week it would shift more than 1,000 jobs out of Massachusetts over the next two years.

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