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Massachusetts Unemployment Drops Slightly in July

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 2.9% in July, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 3,500 jobs in July. Over the month, the private sector lost 4,100 jobs as losses occurred in leisure and hospitality; education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; construction; and financial activities. Manufacturing jobs remained unchanged over the month, while trade, transportation, and utilities; other services; and information added jobs. Government added jobs over the month.

From July 2018 to July 2019, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 37,300 jobs. The July unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Over the last year, the labor force has increased by 18,000, with 34,400 more residents employed and 16,400 fewer residents unemployed. These increases to the labor force, coupled with an unemployment rate that has remained below 4% for 39 consecutive months, continue to highlight the overall strength of the Massachusetts economy,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point.

The labor force decreased by 4,400 from 3,838,800 in June, as 2,100 fewer residents were employed and 2,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

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 — dropped one-tenth of a percentage point over the month to 67.6%. Compared to July 2018, the labor-force participation rate is up one-tenth of a percentage point.

The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in other services; education and health services; information; and leisure and hospitality.

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