The department said today that the state lost 16,600 nonfarm jobs in February, or about 1.2 percent of the total. And the number of manufacturing jobs dropped over the year by about 11,400, or more than six percent.
Meanwhile, the number of jobless workers who filed their first claims for unemployment benefits rose dramatically. It was almost 24,000, more than double the figure for February 2008.
Unemployment was 6.2 percent. That was down from January's figure of 6.4 percent, but significantly higher than the 4 percent recorded in February 2008.