---- — Th jobless rate dipped in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire last month.
Massachusetts lost 5,500 jobs in March while the unemployment rate ticked down to 6.4 percent from 6.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' preliminary estimates.
Massachusetts initially reported gaining 500 jobs in February but revised numbers released Thursday show the state lost 800 jobs in February.
In the first three months of 2013, Massachusetts has gained 12,600 jobs, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
The state’s unemployment rate was last as low as 6.4 percent in November 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The professional, scientific and business services sector lost 3,400 jobs over the month, and the financial activities sector lost 1,200 over the month. Education and health services gained 2,200 jobs over the month, according to the estimates.
New Hampshire's monthly unemployment rate for March is 5.7 percent, a slight decrease from February.
The state Employment Security bureau says the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.8 percent.
The March 2012 seasonally adjusted rate for New Hampshire was 5.3 percent.
The national rate for the month was 7.6 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points from the February rate.
The number of employed residents in New Hampshire in March was 701,950 an increase of 20 from the previous month and a decrease of 680 from March 2012. The number of unemployed residents decreased by 360 over the month, to 42,680. This was 3,150 more unemployed than in March 2012.