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March 19, 2015

State's jobless rate dips below 5% After a sluggish August, companies were hiring again in Sept.

Massachusetts reached its lowest unemployment rate in nearly seven years this February, according to preliminary estimates from the Baker administration.

February’s 4.9 percent unemployment rate was a decline of 0.2 percentage points from January’s rate of 5.1 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) reported. It has not been that low since May 2008, when it was 4.9 percent but just beginning its recessionary upswing.

February estimates show that 3,430,500 residents were employed, while 177,300 were unemployed, the EOLWD said. Compared with February 2014, February 2015 had 34,400 fewer people unemployed, the largest year-to-year decrease since October 2011.

The state gained 800 net jobs in the month, the EOLWD said. The professional, scientific and business services sector had the highest employment gain at 2,600 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities lost 3,200 jobs in February.

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households, while the job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers.

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