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Mass. Lost 2,600 Jobs In June; Rate Stays At 6 Percent

Massachusetts lost an estimated 2,600 jobs in June and the state’s unemployment rate remained at 6 percent, the Office of Labor and Workforce Development has announced.

The June loss of 2,600 jobs, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, follows a revised gain of 5,000 jobs in May. Last month, the state had initially reported that Massachusetts gained 7,500 jobs in May.

June’s static state unemployment rate, which last dropped from 6.3 percent in April, is well below the national unemployment rate of 8.2 percent.

According to Thursday’s initial figures, the state has added 32,700 total jobs so far in 2012, and the private sector has added a total of 34,900 jobs.

“Well to date we certainly think we are in better shape and continuing to improve, and we are expecting that it will continue through the rest of 2012,” Labor Secretary Joanne Goldstein told our Newscast unit.

Massachusetts labor officials separate the private sector into 10 subsections, and four of those 10 saw employment losses in June.

Two sectors — construction, and leisure and hospitality — each lost 2,100 jobs in June. The education and health services sector lost 1,000 jobs last month, the early figures show.

Goldstein said she’s surprised by some of the job loss numbers.

“It appears that the construction industry is actually in a good place, so we are hopeful that these numbers are representative of methodology and not actual job loss,” she said.

The professional, scientific and business services sector led June’s job gains, adding 1,900 jobs over the month, according to the preliminary figures. Five other sectors gained fewer than 1,000 jobs each.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate peaked at 8.7 percent in October 2009, according to the state.

Thursday’s state employment report follows the latest regional survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which was released Wednesday.

That survey, known as the Beige Book, said that the New England economy “continues to expand at a moderate pace.”

But, the survey added:

Firms are generally not laying off workers, but most are also not engaged in substantial hiring. Many contacts cite uncertainty regarding future macroeconomic conditions as impinging on their outlook, and some contacts cite this as a reason for postponing investment or other decisions.

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