Mass. Gains Jobs, But Unemployment Rises To 6.5 Percent

Massachusetts gained an estimated 5,100 jobs in September even as the state's unemployment rate crept up two-tenths of a point to 6.5 percent, officials said Thursday.

The contrasting figures reflect two separate methods of calculation: The unemployment rate is based on a monthly state sampling of households, while the jobs estimate from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is derived from a sample survey of employers.

The bureau also lowered its previous estimate of job losses in August to 3,500, after initially estimating 4,800 jobs had been lost.

The September jobs gain snapped three consecutive months of little to no job growth in the state.

The unemployment rate, however, has now risen by half a point since June, when it stood at 6 percent. Massachusetts remains below the U.S. unemployment rate, which stood at 7.8 percent in September.

Economists have said the state is feeling the pinch of a global slowdown in the technology sector and reduced exports to Europe.

Gov. Deval Patrick's administration recently ordered state agencies to curb hiring and spending after tax collections came in $95 million below benchmarks for the first three months of the fiscal year that started July 1.

The state Office of Labor and Workforce Development noted Thursday that Massachusetts has gained more than 3,800 jobs since the beginning of the calendar year and more than 44,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

Among employment sectors, the largest overall jobs increases in September came in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific and business services; and construction.

Losses were experienced in trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; manufacturing; and the information sector.

This article was originally published on October 18, 2012.

This program aired on October 18, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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