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April Unemployment Rate in Massachusetts Drops to 4.7%

BOSTON — Massachusetts’ total unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% in April, a 0.1% decrease from the previous month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The new preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that Massachusetts gained 10,100 jobs in April, marking the eighth consecutive month of job gains.

BLS also revised upward its March job figure, reporting the state gained 12,100 jobs, instead of 10,500, which the agency originally reported last month.

Over the year, the state’s unemployment rate fell 1.1% from 5.8% in April 2014. January 2008 was the last time the state’s unemployment rate was at 4.7%. The state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 5.4% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s labor 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 0.1% to 66.3%. The April labor participation rate is the highest since May 2010, and this is the third consecutive month there was an increase in the participation rate. Compared to April 2014, the labor participation rate increased 1.1% over the year.

“This is the seventh consecutive month we’ve seen a decrease in unemployment,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker said. “Many more residents are employed, and labor participation has increased again.”

April 2015 estimates show that 3,464,500 residents were employed and 169,400 were unemployed. There were 37,700 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to April 2014.

Over the month, jobs were up 10,100, with a private-sector gain of 9,700. Since April 2014, jobs grew by 66,100, with 57,900 private-sector job gains. Education and health services and professional, scientific, and business services were the sectors with the largest job gains over the year.

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