- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - The unemployment rate in Massachusetts has fallen to a 16-year low.

The state office of Labor and Workforce Development says the jobless rate in December stood at 2.8 percent, down from 2.9 percent in November.

The last time the rate dropped as low as 2.8 percent was December 2000.

Officials say preliminary estimates for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Massachusetts added 6,600 in December. The bureau also revised upward to 7,000 its estimate of job growth in November, from the previous estimate of 5,800 new jobs.

The state added an estimated 75,000 jobs over the course of last year and unemployment fell more than two percentage points from December 2015 to December 2016.

State Labor Secretary Ronald Walker calls the latest numbers “very good news” for Massachusetts.

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