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Mass. Adds 8,100 Jobs In March; Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.3 Percent

BOSTON — The state is out with an upbeat monthly jobs report.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that preliminary federal estimates show Massachusetts gained 8,100 jobs in March and the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent, from 6.5 percent the previous month.

“We definitely see a diversified economy, one that is growing and one where employers are bullish on hiring,” state Labor Secretary Rachel Kaprielian told WBUR.

The education and health services sector led employment gains in Massachusetts, with 5,700 jobs added last month. The professional, scientific and business services sector fared the worst, shedding 2,100 jobs in March.

The monthly jobs report is subject to revision. Indeed on Thursday, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revised upward its February jobs estimates for Massachusetts, saying the state picked up 5,500 jobs in the month, compared to the earlier estimate of 3,800 jobs gained.

The state’s labor force increased by more than 12,000 people in March, another positive sign; the unemployment rate can also fall when discouraged workers drop out of the labor force.

Still, Kaprielian cautioned that the job growth in Massachusetts has been uneven.

“We are still mindful that this is not the same pace in every part of the state and that there are still plenty of people who are looking for work, and we are firmly committed to changing some of those trends as well,” she said.

The Massachusetts jobless rate fell for the third straight month in March. The rate was 7.1 percent in December.

The national unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in March.

With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

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