PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick says the state has created the most jobs in a single year since 2000.
Patrick released the final 2013 employment numbers Thursday morning, saying the state added 55,200 jobs.
Previously, Massachusetts grew 49,000 jobs in 2012 and in 2011, 43,000.
"It demonstrates that our strategy of investing in innovation, education and infrastructure is working," Patrick said in a conference call.
He added that the sales of single-family homes is rising and the state "leads the nation in capital investment and competitiveness."
"Companies continue to relocate to Massachusetts and we continue to do so," he said.
Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki, who joined the conference call from Pittsfield, singled out the "middle skills" jobs as a particular growth. Those jobs are for those between minimum wage and four-year college degrees.
"We're actually seeing some nice results and opportunities in middle skills jobs," he said, adding that the jobs are "middle class" and tend to be in manufacturing, health care and life science.
Bialecki was attending a manufacturers' roundtable at Berkshire Community College.
Overall, the state has grown more jobs than were lost during the recession. According to Rachel Kaprielian, secretary of labor and workforce development, the state has 61,700 more jobs than the "high water mark" before the recession and 195,000 more than the "low water mark" during it.
"We are moving beyond a simple recovery," Bialecki said. "Massachusetts regained all of its lost jobs a little more than a year ago."
The state's unemployment rate is still at 6.8 percent but Bialecki says if the state continues to add jobs at this rate he is "confident" that those numbers will decline.
"We have to keep adding jobs and driving down the rate," he said.