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Massachusetts Adds 13,700 Jobs in February

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 3.5% in February, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 13,700 jobs in February. Over the month, the private sector added 13,100 jobs as gains occurred in education and health services; construction; trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; other services; and financial activities. The jobs level remained unchanged in leisure and hospitality.

From February 2017 to February 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 39,100 jobs. The February unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta noted that “2017 was the first time since 2000 in which the monthly unemployment rate remained below 4% for the entire year in the Commonwealth. Our low unemployment rate, coupled with over-the-year job and labor-force gains, all point towards the continued strength of the Massachusetts economy.”

The labor force increased by 10,000 from 3,659,600 in January, as 9,500 more residents were employed and 500 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.9% in February 2017.

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 — is up one-tenth of a percentage point at 65.4%. The labor-force participation rate over the year has decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point compared to February 2017.

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

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