BOSTON -- State officials say the Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in December, down from 7 percent in November, despite estimates that the state lost about 6,200 jobs last month.
The office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday the apparent discrepancy between the two figures may be explained by different methods used for calculating the unemployment rate and estimating the number of jobs in the state.
The 6.8 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in three years and remains well below the December national rate of 8.5 percent.
Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters he's excited about the continued decline in unemployment but isn't sure what to make of the separate accounting for jobs.
Patrick said he'll unveil initiatives aimed at further lowering the rate during his annual State of the State address on Monday.