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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in September

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate for September remained at 2.9% for the third consecutive month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 1,000 jobs in September. Over the month, the private sector lost 600 jobs as losses occurred in leisure and hospitality; other services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Gains occurred in the remaining six private sectors. Government lost jobs over the month.

From September 2018 to September 2019, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 35,300 jobs. 

The September unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.5% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Massachusetts is estimated to have now added 286,100 jobs since the previous high level in February of 2001, and 350,000 jobs from the April 2008 pre-recession peak. These job gains have been concentrated in key areas of the economy like education and health services,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.

The labor force increased by 2,500 from 3,837,400 in August, as 1,700 more residents were employed and 800 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped three-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 September 2018, the labor-force participation rate is down three-tenths of a percentage point. 

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

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