Mass. adds workers; unemployment rate unchanged at 4.6 percent

By Jack Newsham | Boston Globe | July 16, 2015

Massachusetts added 10,500 jobs last month, the 10th straight month of gains, theMassachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent in June, its lowest point since before the recession began in 2007. Over the past year, the state has added a net total of 72,700 jobs, state figures show.

The biggest job growth reported was the professional, scientific, and business services sector, which added 5,200 jobs. Over the past year, about 3 out of every 10 jobs added in Massachusetts were in the sector, which includes many jobs in the state’s booming biotech industry.

“These numbers inthe past several months have been astoundingly good, and the employment growth now is chugging along at the same pace it was in the expansion of the ‘90s,” said Alan Clayton-Matthews, a Northeastern University economist who aggregates data on the Massachusetts economy.

Clayton-Matthews said several indicators suggest the strong job growth isn’t a fluke. The unemployment rate, which is measured by surveying households instead of job creators, has remained low, and state tax collections have continued to grow. In the past year, a three-month moving average of payroll tax revenue has risen 9 percent, said Clayton-Matthews, although he noted that such collections could vary significantly from one month to the next.

All of last month’s job gains came in the private sector, state figures showed. Governments cut 200 jobs in Massachusetts. The job growth estimate for May was also revised downward, from from 7,400 jobs added to 5,200.

Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.

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