The state's unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in January which is lower than the previous month and lower than a year ago, according to preliminary data released Thursday. However, despite a falling unemployment rate, there were over 27 thousand fewer jobs than a month ago. State officials say they are still assessing what, if any effect, the cold, snowy winter may have played in the jobless rate or a temporary slowdown in the national economy. Lower consumer spending during the holidays reflected in a major drop in trade, transportation and utility jobs and leisure and hospitality sectors.
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