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By STEVE JONES Staff writer

The number of local jobs rose slightly in February compared to a year ago, marking the sixth month in a row that over-the-year job gains have occurred, according to state Labor Department statistics released today.

The non-agricultural job count in the Utica-Rome metro area rose by 2,000 — 1.6 percent — to 129,500 between February 2011 and 2012.

Job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+1,200), educational and health services (+500), professional and business services (+300), trade, transportation and utilities (+300), and construction (+100). Education and health services is at its highest February level on record, with data collected since 1990.

Losses occurred in manufacturing (-200), financial activities (-100), and government (-100). Manufacturing is at its lowest February level on record.

The state will release unemployment rates next week. The historical data from the last decade does not give much insight into where the rate might be headed. In the past 10 years, from January to February, the jobless rate declined five times, increased three times and remained unchanged twice.

The metro area’s jobless rate in January was 9.3 percent — up from 8.1 percent in December.

RomeSentinel.com

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