Mass. Loses 4,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate Down To 7.6 Percent

There's mixed news on the jobs front in Massachusetts.

According to state labor data released Thursday morning, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell to 7.6 percent in May — down from 7.8 percent in April. State Labor Secretary Joanne Goldstein said it's the state's lowest unemployment rate since February 2009.

At the same time, however, the state shed 4,000 jobs in the month, according to labor data. That includes jobs in government; leisure and hospitality; transportation; financial services; and mining and logging. Education, health services, construction, and other industries gained jobs.

This follows a 20,300 job gain in April.

"Companies staffed up in April and may have hired more than they needed," Goldstein said, explaining her take on May's job losses.

But, she said, "things are absolutely moving in the right direction and the unemployment rate is certainly down and well below the national average."

The national unemployment rate last month rose to 9.1 percent.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

This program aired on June 16, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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