Job growth continues in Massachusetts, but at a slow pace.
Massachusetts employers added 900 jobs in January as the state's fragile economy continued to be buoyed by gains in the health care and education industries.
The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported the job gains on Thursday as part of its monthly assessment of the state's labor market.
The state's unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to 4.5 percent in January from an adjusted rate of 4.3 percent in December. The state's jobless rate still remains below the national rate of 4.9 percent.
Boston's booming hotel market may have had a role in January's modest job growth, as the state's hospitality industry added 1,800 jobs last month.
The biggest driver of the local economy continued to be the education and health services sector, which added about 4,300 jobs in the month. Job gains were split fairly evenly between the education industry and the health care industry.
But other parts of the economy continued to stumble. The manufacturing and construction sectors - both of which have struggled amid job losses recently - lost another 1,300 jobs and 1,000 jobs, respectively.
The state's results are continued evidence of a local economy that's still growing, although at a much slower pace than it had been a year ago.
"Overall, it looks fairly steady," said Jack Harrington, principal at Atlantic Associates Inc., a staffing services firm in West Roxbury. "I think you'll see some corporations that will start to be a little cautious, and maybe trimming here and there. (But) from what I've seen over the last few months, biotech, health care and higher education remain strong."
The state's employers have added 16,900 jobs in the past year. The state has added about 110,000 jobs since the local labor market bottomed out after its last downturn at the end of 2003. However, that number represents only slightly more than half of the roughly 200,000 jobs that the state lost during that downturn.
Jon Chesto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.