Massachusetts lifted up by 7,400 jobs in May

By Jordan Graham | Boston Herald | June 19, 2015

Bay State employers added more than 7,000 jobs in May, the ninth straight month of gains, and more people began looking for work again, increasingly confident about their chances of finding a job.

“In the past year, we’ve been showing very strong labor force and household employment growth,” said Alan Clayton-Matthews, an economist at Northeastern University.

“The job growth has led to households having more income, that means more spending, that leads to more demand for services, and that leads to more 
hiring.”

The state added 7,400 jobs last month, according to the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The construction sector added 3,500 jobs in May, the largest gain of any industry.

“This is a continuation of the strength we’ve seen in the past year in the Massachusetts economy,” said Robert Nakosteen, an economist and professor at UMass Amherst. “The sectors of the economy that haven’t done so well — construction, trade, transportation ­— those sectors added a number of jobs, they were the leaders.”

The construction industry’s recovery is also a reassuring sign that the weak labor market in that sector was likely due to the poor weather and not worsening economic conditions.

The state said the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent to 4.6 percent last month, the lowest the rate has been since December 2007.

The labor force participation rate — the percentage of working-age residents either employed or actively looking for work — increased for the fourth straight month.

Said Nakosteen: “That’s another reenforcement of how strong this report and the labor market has been.”

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