Mass. Jobs Jump In July; Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

The Massachusetts economy added 13,800 jobs in July, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday, while the state unemployment rate ticked up to 5.6 percent.

The two data points are based on separate surveys — one of employers, the other of households — so the trends can diverge in a given month. The state's labor force — that is, people actively looking for work — increased last month by 9,500, which can also affect the jobless rate. A growing labor force is viewed as a positive for the Massachusetts economy.

Seasonally adjusted state employment data (Table via Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development)
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Seasonally adjusted state employment data (Labor and Workforce Development)

The state unemployment rate had been calculated as 5.5 percent in June. The Massachusetts rate was 6.8 percent in January. The national jobless rate is currently at 6.2 percent.

Thursday's report also revised down the number of jobs the state added in June, from an initially reported 3,700 to an increase of 2,500.

Job growth was broad-based last month, with only the government sector shedding jobs (200). The professional, scientific and business services sector led the gains, with 5,000 jobs added, followed by the education and health services sector, which increased by 3,800 jobs.

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Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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