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Massachusetts Unemployment Creeps Up Slightly in August

BOSTON — The state’s August total unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point over-the-month to 3.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 6,400 jobs in August, following the previous month’s revised gain of 10,500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and health services. Employment now stands at 3,680,100. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts gained 632,500 jobs.

From August 2021 to August 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 126,400 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

The August unemployment rate of 3.6% was one-tenth of a percentage point below the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 2,200 from 3,765,500 in July, as 6,300 fewer residents were employed and 4,100 more residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.9%

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 — remained unchanged at 65.8%. Compared to August 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.1%.

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