MASSACHUSETTS EMPLOYERS added 17,300 jobs in November, labor officials announced Friday, putting the state within striking distance of returning to a pre-pandemic level of employment.

Last month’s gains build on a revised increase of 10,000 positions in October, according to the latest monthly data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Following those increases, total nonfarm employment in Massachusetts stood at 3,728,100 in November, only 12,000 jobs below total nonfarm employment in February 2020. Massachusetts employers slashed nearly 690,000 jobs between February 2020 and April 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the state has now nearly achieved a full recovery of all jobs lost.

The biggest job gains in November occurred in leisure and hospitality (5,700), education and health services (3,700), government (3,000), and trade, transportation and utilities (2,900). Financial activities lost 300 jobs and manufacturing shed 1,000 positions last month.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked downward from 3.5 percent in October to 3.4 percent in November, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said. That’s slightly lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in November.