The jobs report released Thursday marked an end to the slow and mod­erate eco­nomic growth of 2012, as the state Exec­u­tive Office of Labor and Work­force Devel­op­ment announced that the unem­ploy­ment rate rose to to 6.7 per­cent in December.

That’s up from 6.6 per­cent in November , but two-​​tenths of a per­centage point below the December 2011 level.

Alan Clayton-​​Matthews, an econ­o­mist at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, said although slug­gish, the growth encour­aged people to re-​​enter the labor force.

The increase in the number of jobs encour­aged people to enter the labor force and that kept the unem­ploy­ment rate from falling,” Clayton-​​Matthews said. It only fell two-​​tenths of a per­centage point in the past year, and in the last few months is actu­ally has been rising.”

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