BOSTON (AP) — For the first in more than six years, the monthly unemployment rate in Massachusetts is higher than the U.S. rate.

The state Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that the state’s jobless rate dropped in November to 7.1 percent from 7.2 percent in the previous month. Preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics also show the state added 6,500 jobs in November.

The previously announced national unemployment rate dipped to a five-year low of 7 percent in November.

The last time Massachusetts had a monthly unemployment average that was higher than the U.S. as a whole was in May 2007.

The state’s jobless rate has climbed by four tenths of a point over the last 12 months, but officials say Massachusetts has also gained more than 55,000 jobs over that same period.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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