BOSTON (AP) — The unemployment rate in Massachusetts held steady at 3.5 percent in January while preliminary estimates show the state lost more than 6,000 jobs during the month.

That's according to the latest figures released Friday by the state office of Labor and Workforce Development and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The overall jobless rate was unchanged from December and Massachusetts remained more than a half percentage point below the U.S. unemployment rate.

Massachusetts labor secretary Rosalin Acosta says the state's labor force is expanding and the overall health of its economy remains strong.

The state's February jobs report will be released later this month.