Mass. Adds 3,700 Jobs In June; Jobless Rate Ticks Down To 5.5 Percent

By Benjamin Swasey | WBUR | July 17, 2014

BOSTON — The Massachusetts economy added 3,700 jobs in June and the state unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 percentage point, to 5.5 percent, according to figures put out Thursday by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

That’s the lowest state jobless rate since August 2008, the department said, and the figure is down from 6.8 percent this January. Since January, 62,200 more people in Massachusetts are listed as employed, and 46,200 fewer are unemployed, according to state figures.

The U.S. unemployment rate is currently 6.1 percent.

Thursday’s report also revised up, by 1,200, the Massachusetts jobs gain in May — from an original estimate of 9,100 to 10,300.

“The Massachusetts economy is continuing to plug along at a moderate pace,” Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews said. “What’s interesting about it is that growth has been steady over the past year, for several years actually.”

The state’s overall labor force declined slightly in June, by 500, to 3,501,500. That, in addition to adding jobs, can drive down the unemployment rate.

The education and health services sector led last month’s job growth, as 6,000 positions were added. Several sectors lost jobs, including manufacturing (1,100), construction (900) and leisure and hospitality (900).

Thursday’s figures are preliminary estimates and are subject to revision.

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