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 added 400 jobs.

The leisure and hos­pi­tality sector, which includes hotels and restau­rants, expe­ri­enced the steepest losses in Feb­ruary, shed­ding 3,600 jobs. Finan­cial ser­vices lost 1,600 jobs, and edu­ca­tion and health ser­vices lost 900.

Alan Clayton-​​Matthews, a North­eastern Uni­ver­sity eco­nomics pro­fessor, noted that tem­po­rary employ­ment, which is included in the pro­fes­sional and business-​​services sector, has been steadily increasing, an indi­ca­tion employers are hiring and that the economy is expanding more broadly than in the tech sector alone.

Read the article at The Boston Globe →