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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.6% in September

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in September from 3.9% in August, marking the lowest rate since June 2001. Preliminary estimates show the state gained 5,100 jobs over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.

At 3.6%, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 1.2% over the year from 4.8% in September 2015, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 88,600 more employed residents over the year compared to September 2015, and 43,000 fewer unemployed residents. Massachusetts’ unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 5.0% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The rate has fallen dramatically in the last two months, three-tenths of a point this month, and two-tenths of a point the month before. While these are preliminary estimates, this is very good news for the Commonwealth,” Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald Walker II said. “Over the year, jobs are up 63,800.”

The state added fewer jobs over the month in August than the Bureau of Labor Statistics originally estimated, gaining 3,600 jobs compared to the previously published 5,900-job-gain estimate. Year to date, December 2015 to September 2016, Massachusetts has added 63,800 jobs.

The sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains were in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Over the year, the largest private-sector percentage job gains were in construction; leisure and hospitality; education and health services; and professional, scientific, and business services.

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 65.0%. Over the year, the labor-force participation rate has increased 0.3% compared to September 2015.

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