Mass. jobless rate holds steady at 6.9 percent


The unemployment rate in Massachusetts held steady at 6.9 percent in January, while the total number of jobs in the state increased.

The Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday a net gain of 6,600 jobs in January, with higher numbers reported in seven of the ten largest employment sectors.

The 6.9 percent unemployment rate was unchanged from December, and compares to the 8.3 percent national jobless rate for January.

Unemployment in Massachusetts peaked at 8.9 percent in October 2009.

Officials also said Thursday that extended unemployment benefits for Massachusetts residents will end April 7. The state no longer meets the criteria for the federal supplemental program that offers up to 13 weeks of additional benefits for workers in times of high unemployment.

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