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Massachusetts Adds 10,800 Jobs in August

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in  August, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate that Massachusetts added 10,800 jobs in August. Over the month, the private sector added 9,900 jobs as gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; other services; information; construction; and manufacturing. The July estimate was revised to a gain of 2,500 jobs.

From August 2016 to August 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 57,400 jobs.

The August unemployment rate was two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.4% reported by the bureau.

“Massachusetts has gained 57,400 jobs in the last year, with much of that growth concentrated in key economic sectors like health, education, professional, business, and scientific services,” said Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta. “While these job gains, alongside a low unemployment rate, are signs of a strong economy in the Commonwealth, skills gaps and labor-market pressures persist. That is why our workforce-development agencies and partners continue to focus on matching available workers with the training and resources they need to connect to high-demand jobs.”

The labor force decreased by 17,200 from 3,697,700 in July, as 10,700 fewer residents were employed and 6,500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased eight-tenths of a percentage point from 3.4% in August 2016. There were 31,300 more unemployed residents over the year compared to August 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 — decreased three-tenths of a percentage point to 66.1% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has increased 1.3% compared to August 2016.

The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in other services; professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; and financial activities.

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