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Massachusetts Unemployment Falls Slightly in February

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate in February fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.0%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 6,600 jobs in February. Over the month, the private sector added 5,600 jobs as gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; other services; financial activities; and construction. Manufacturing lost jobs over the month, while the job level in information remained unchanged. 

From February 2018 to February 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates Massachusetts added 20,300 jobs. The February unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.8% reported by the BLS.

“The Commonwealth continues to experience job and labor-force growth alongside an unemployment rate that has remained below 4% for 34 consecutive months. Our workforce-development agencies remain committed to ensuring that all regions and communities in Massachusetts can better access our high demand job categories during this period of strong economic growth,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.

The labor force increased by 3,100 from 3,840,500 in January, as 6,200 more residents were employed and 3,100 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped six-tenths of a percentage point.

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 one-tenth of a percentage point to 68.0%. Compared to February 2018, the labor-force participation rate is up 1.0%.

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

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