Mass. Unemployment Steady At 7.6 Percent

So much for a slowdown. Despite concerns about the larger economy during the debt-ceiling talks last month, employers in the state kept plugging ahead.

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts hung at 7.6 percent for the third consecutive month, but the state added 12,700 jobs in July.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday the largest number of new private-sector jobs were in education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; and manufacturing. The construction, information, and hospitality industries lost jobs.

The Bay State has added 56,800 jobs since last July for a 1.8 percent growth rate overall. The private sector has grown by of 2.2 percent.

Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray says state officials need to keep working to maintain that positive trend.

"Trying to make sure that we're doing everything we can with businesses large and small — because they're the engine that drives the economy — to find ways to encourage them to grow jobs and expand," he said.

The 7.6 unemployment rate is the lowest level since February 2009 and remains unchanged since May. It is well below the national rate of 9.1 percent.

The report estimates 263,400 residents were unemployed in July out of a labor force of nearly 3.5 million.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on August 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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