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Originally published Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM

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Mass. jobless rate jumps to 9.4 percent in Dec.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in December after dropping for two consecutive months.

The Associated Press

BOSTON —

Massachusetts' unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in December after dropping for two consecutive months.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday that the unemployment rate was up from a revised rate of 8.7 percent in November, but still remains below the national average of 10 percent.

The number of jobs were down 8,400 last month, driven by a loss of 5,000 losses in the trade, transportation and utilities sector; 3,400 in leisure and hospitality; and 3,300 in retail.

Construction lost 1,800 jobs after gaining jobs in the previous two months.

The education and health services sector added 1,000 jobs in December, the third consecutive monthly gain. Financial services also added jobs for the first time since May.

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