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Mass. jobless rate higher than US for first time since ’07

The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in November, down from October’s 7.2 percent rate. Despite the slight improvement, it’s the first time since 2007 that the state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national rate, which is currently 7 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate remained above 7 percent for the fifth consecutive month.

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During November, the Massachusetts economy added 6,500 jobs, with 4,900 of those jobs coming from the private sector, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported in a Thursday morning press release; since December 2012, Massachusetts has gained 46,600 jobs.

Sectors posting job gains included financial services, manufacturing, construction, education and health services, the state agency said. One sector losing jobs: Leisure and hospitality.

The automatic federal budget cuts known as sequestration, which went into effect earlier this year, have disproportionately hurt the local economy, analysts have said. The state has a high concentration of industries that rely on such funding, such as defense, health care, and scientific research.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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