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Massachusetts Unemployment Holds Steady in August

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 2.9% in August, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 7,100 jobs in August. Over the month, the private sector added 6,700 jobs as gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; construction; information; financial activities; and other services. The manufacturing jobs level remained unchanged over the month. Government added 400 jobs over the month.

From August 2018 to August 2019, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 43,600 jobs. The August unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Massachusetts continues to experience strong job growth with an unemployment rate which has been at or below 3% for seven consecutive months,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said. “Job gains have been concentrated in key economic areas like education and health services, which added 12,600 over the year, and professional, scientific, and business services, which has added 8,900 jobs during that timeframe.”

The labor force increased by 3,300 from 3,834,100 in July, as 3,800 more residents were employed and 500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped four-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 — remained at 67.6%. Compared to August 2018, the labor-force participation rate is down two-tenths of a percentage point.

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

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