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February Unemployment Rate in Massachusetts Drops to 4.9%

BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) released preliminary February 2015 estimates that show the Massachusetts total unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% from the January rate of 5.1%, a 0.2% decrease. Over the year, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1% from 6.0% in February 2014.

The share of working-age residents employed or unemployed, also known as the labor participation rate, was 65.9%, an increase of 0.3% since January. Compared with February 2014, the labor participation rate increased a full percentage point over the year. February 2015 estimates show that 3,430,500 residents were employed and 177,300 were unemployed. Compared with February 2014, February 2015 had 34,400 fewer unemployed, the largest annual decrease in the number of unemployed since October 2011.

Over the month, jobs were up 800, with a private-sector loss of 800. Since February 2014, jobs grew by 58,100, with 46,300 private-sector job gains. The sectors with the largest job gains over the year were education and health services and professional, scientific, and business services.

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