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Officials: Mass. Gains 55,000 Jobs in 2013


BOSTON (WGGB/AP) — State officials say Massachusetts gained more than 55,000 jobs in 2013, the largest calendar year increase since 2000.

The job growth came in a year that also saw the overall unemployment rate in the state exceed the U.S. unemployment rate for the first time since 2007.

In a conference call Thursday morning, state officials noted that Western Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley, near Lowell, are still struggling to grow or have seen slower growth.

Governor Patrick says the state is making  investments to help stimulate economic growth,” The Pioneer valley is coming back; it is part and shares in a commonwealth wide investment and growth strategy which is based on education, innovation, and infrastructure,” says Governor Patrick.

Bud Delphin, Director of  Programs and Services for CareerPoint in Holyoke says there are needs in Western Massachusetts, “As we look at the market right now I think Western Massachusetts I still think there’s a lack of a qualified pool of candidates particularly for certain kinds of jobs in the precision manufacturing field and particularly institutional technology,” says Delphin.

Delphin says there needs to be more training available.

The office of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday also released the preliminary jobs reports for January. It showed a net decline of 4,500 jobs during the month, while the unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a point to 6.8 percent.

That national unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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