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Massachusetts Adds 13,000 Jobs in January

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.2% in January from the revised December rate of 3.1%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.

The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate Massachusetts added 13,000 jobs in January. Over-the-month job gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities; financial activities; construction; leisure and hospitality; education and health services; information; and government.

From January 2016 to January 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 65,100 jobs. The January state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Massachusetts continues to experience low levels of unemployment with the largest year-over-year percentage gains in jobs in the construction, education, and health services sectors. We remain focused on fostering an employment environment where businesses can grow and create jobs while having access to workers with the skills and training needed to fill them,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said.

The labor force increased by 1,600 from 3,561,700 in December, as 9,800 more residents were employed and 8,200 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 1.1% from 4.3% in January 2016. There were 40,400 fewer unemployed people over the year compared to January 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 to 64.9% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has decreased 0.1% compared to January 2016.

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

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