BOSTON –The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development today reported that the December seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was down in the Boston-Quincy-Cambridge area while the rates for the remaining twenty one areas were reflecting seasonal changes. Statewide, the December seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, up from 6.4 percent in November. Over-the-year the statewide rate was down 1.5 percentage points from the 8.0 percent rate recorded for December 2010. All twenty-two labor area rates were down over the year.

In December, over-the-month job gains occurred in the Worcester, Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner, Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, and Peabody areas. The Barnstable area employment remained unchanged while the remaining seven areas posted job losses.

Over-the-year, all twelve areas added jobs with the largest gains in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Worcester, Framingham, and Barnstable areas. The largest percentage gains occurred in the Worcester, Barnstable, Pittsfield, and Framingham areas.

The seasonally adjusted statewide December unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent from the November rate of 7.0 percent, and was down 1.5 percentage points from the 8.3 percent rate recorded in December 2010. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate released on January 19th showed a 6,200 over-the-month job loss.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

The January 2012 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on March 8, 2012; local unemployment statistics will be released on March 13, 2012. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.

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