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State labor officials say last year brought the strongest growth in jobs in Massachusetts in 15 years

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BOSTON — State labor officials say 2015 brought the strongest growth in jobs in Massachusetts in 15 years.

The Office of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday announced monthly and full-year employment figures for the state. According to preliminary estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts gained 7,100 jobs in December, while the state's unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 percent.

Officials say the state picked up 73,800 jobs in 2015, the largest year-over-year gain since 2000. Those figures could be adjusted slightly once the December figures are finalized.

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts remains below the U.S. rate, which stood at 5 percent in December.

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