Boston: State jobless rate drops to 6.5 percent

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 6.5 percent in February and the office of Labor and Workforce Development says the state has now regained all the jobs lost during the recession.

Last month's jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from January and initial estimates showed a gain of 500 jobs in February.

Officials also released revised estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that 19,800 jobs were created in Massachusetts in January, about 2,800 more than initially estimated. With those new numbers, Massachusetts now has about 14,000 more jobs than at the start of the recession in April 2008.

The state's unemployment rate remains more than a full point below the national rate, which fell to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February.

Boston: Treasurer launches website on bonds

The state Treasurer's Office has released a new website that increases the transparency and disclosure of the commonwealth's financial and economic indicators to investors in the municipal bond market.

The site provides more than 30,000 pages of downloadable reports, audits and summaries from different state offices. It also provides tools that allow the state's economic and financial data to be analyzed on a customized basis.

The website can be found at www.massbondholder.com.


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-- The Associated Press

Lenox: Swim-a-thon to benefit Freeman Center

The Annie Selke Companies and the Spa at Cranwell Resort are sponsoring a swim-a-thon program next month in which participants can raise pledges based on the distances they either swim, walk, or jog in the water.

The event takes place at Cranwell from April 1-20, concludes with a swim-a-thon at the spa from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20.

The proceeds will benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center.

Prizes for various pledge levels will be available, including six month Cranwell Fitness Passports and two $500 gift certificates to the Annie Selke Companies. The companies will match up to $2,500 of the funds raised.

Registration fee is $10. Participants can sign-up at the spa desk at Cranwell from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Information: Spa desk, (413) 881-0721; Shannon Lasorsa, (413) 881-0732.