BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.9% in April from the March rate of 3.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.
The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 3,900 jobs in April. Over-the-month job gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; other services; information; and manufacturing.
From April 2016 to April 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 58,600 jobs. The April state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.4% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Through the first four months of 2017, Massachusetts has added over 20,000 jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy like professional, business, and scientific services,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said. “These job gains, coupled with large increases to the labor force and a low unemployment rate, are signs of a strong economy in the Commonwealth. Our workforce agencies remain focused on closing the skills gap and ensuring that those newly entering the job market have the training necessary to access employment opportunities.”
The labor force increased by 33,000 from 3,661,200 in March, as 21,200 more residents were employed and 11,800 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.0% in April 2016. There were 300 more unemployed persons over the year compared to April 2016.
The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — increased six-tenths of a percentage point to 66.5% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has increased 1.5% compared to April 2016.
The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in professional, scientific, and business services; construction; financial activities; education; and health services.