The state unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in October, marking the first decline in over two years, according to state labor officials.

The rate had climbed steadily since June 2007 until it peaked at 9.3 percent in September, the highest it had been since 1976. Just 900 jobs were cut from payrolls in October, down from the 9,300 that were cut in September.

The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, climbed to 10.2 percent in October from 9.8 percent the previous month. It is the highest national number since 1983.


Four sectors gained jobs in Massachusetts last month:

1) Professional, Scientific and Business Services: +4,100

*jobs in this sector are still down 4.5 percent this year
2) Education and Health Services: +1,500
*uptick caused by gains in Health Care and Social Assistance
3) Government: +200
*the federal government added 1,000 Census workers, which offset 700 jobs lost in the state government and 100 lost in local government.
4) Construction: +100
*the first monthly gain since February

Five sectors lost jobs in October:

1) Manufacturing: -2,300
*jobs in this sector are down 6.2 percent from a year ago
2) Trade, Transportation and Utilities: -1,700
*the largest losses have come in Retail Trade jobs
3) Information: -1,000
*600 jobs were gained in this sector in September
4) Financial Activities: -900
*most of the job loss was in Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
5) Other Services: -900
*this sector had added 1,600 jobs over the previous months.

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