BOSTON: The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 4.3% in July, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts lost 200 jobs in July. Over the month, the private sector added 1,500 jobs as gains occurred in construction, financial activities, education and health services, and manufacturing. The June estimate was revised to a gain of 10,900 jobs.
From July 2016 to July 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 45,200 jobs. The July state unemployment rate is the same as the national rate of 4.3% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The last time this occurred was April 2008, when the unemployment rate was 5.0%. “Although the unemployment rate remains low, we continue to see persistent gaps between the skill sets of available workers and the qualifications needed for in-demand jobs. Our workforce-development agencies remain committed to closing that skills gap and helping the chronically unemployed receive the training they need to access a successful career in Massachusetts,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said. The labor force decreased by 11,300 from 3,708,800 in June, as 11,500 fewer residents were employed and 300 more residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased seven-tenths of a percentage point from 3.6% in July 2016. There were 33,000 more unemployed people over the year compared to July 2016.
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 — decreased three-tenths of a percentage point to 66.4% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has increased 1.5% compared to July 2016.The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in education and health services; construction; financial activities; and professional, scientific, and business services.