Business

Slow and steady job growth for Mass.

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The Massachusetts unemployment rate slipped below the nation’s for the first time since November as employers added nearly 4,000 jobs last month, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.

Unemployment in February fell to 6.5 percent from 6.8 percent in January, the state reported. Nationally, the rate rose slightly last month, to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent in January.

Last month’s job gains followed revised losses of 3,900 jobs in January. Professional, scientific, and business services, which includes a variety of technical, technology, and research firms, led last month’s job gains, adding 6,200 jobs. Trade, transportation. and utilities, which includes retailers, gained 3,200 jobs, and manufacturing, which added 400 jobs.

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