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Mass. Unemployment Rate Drops To 4.1 Percent

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dropped to 4.1 percent in July, according to the latest jobs report released Thursday.

The state reports that Massachusetts gained more than 7,300 jobs in July, according to preliminary estimates. It also revised the number of jobs added in June from 16,400 to 17,600.

Massachusetts' 4.1 percent unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.9.

Mark Melnik, director of economic and public policy research at the University of Massachusetts' Donahue Institute, says the amount of jobs gained in Massachusetts and the low unemployment rate in July is promising.

"[The report] showed both a significant increase in jobs in the state overall as well as decreases in the overall unemployment rate," Melnik told WBUR's Newscast Unit, "so in terms of a general trend, things in the Massachusetts economy look very good."

One concern, he says, is that "those folks who are employed part-time but would like to have full time work is still not below pre-recession levels. So there are segments of the economy that are not working for everybody."

In July, the state's labor force participation rate --the number of residents aged 16 or older actively looking for work — was 65 percent, which is only a 0.1 percent increase from the previous month and a 0.1 percent increase since July 2015.

The report estimates that Massachusetts has added over 56,600 jobs since December. Those numbers are subject to further revision. In the private sector, the largest of those gains have come from jobs in construction, business and health services and leisure and hospitality.

The unemployment rate is based on a sample survey of households and the jobs numbers are based on a sample survey of employers.

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