Mass. unemployment rate up to 9.5 percent

BOSTON (AP) – The unemployment rate in Massachusetts edged up to 9.5 percent in January from a revised 9.3 percent in December.

The state labor force grew by 3,200 but only 400 net jobs were added. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday that the best gains were in retail, where 3,500 jobs were added.

Also adding jobs were the professional, scientific and business services sector as well as the education and health services – the single largest sector in the state that provides one in five positions.

The biggest losses were in construction, where 4,000 jobs were lost, and manufacturing, which lost 3,100 jobs.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 9.7 percent.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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