The Massachusetts unemployment rate has dropped back below the national average and officials say the state added an estimated 3,800 jobs in February.

The state office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that the jobless rate fell three-tenths of a point last month to 6.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in February.

In addition to preliminary estimates of 3,800 jobs gained in Massachusetts last month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised downward its earlier estimate of jobs lost in January from 4,500 to 3,900.

The state's unemployment rate climbed above the national rate in November for the first time in more than six years. But state officials have suggested that was due to more people returning to the workforce.
(Associated Press)