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Mass. Adds 9,400 Jobs In September, After Market Basket Disruptions End

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Massachusetts added an estimated 9,400 jobs last month, a strong gain that "reflects the end of temporary disruptions" stemming from this summer's Market Basket standoff, the state labor department said in its monthly report released Thursday.

The bounce back follows an initially estimated loss of 5,300 jobs in August. Last month, Rachel Kaprielian, the state labor secretary, predicted those losses would be "corrected."

As the dispute at the grocery store chain dragged on, workers lost hours, making them eligible to file for unemployment. A deal was reached to end the standoff in late August.

Job growth in Thursday's report was powered by the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which gained an estimated 10,700 jobs in September. Six other sectors also added jobs.

It was a tough month for the education and health services sector, which lost 4,800 jobs.

The report also revised the job loss in August, from an initially estimated 5,300 to 4,900.

Amid the erratic jobs numbers, the state unemployment rate increased last month, from 5.8 percent to 6 percent. The figure has risen from 5.5 percent back in June.

The Massachusetts jobless rate is now above the national rate of 5.9 percent.

The state labor force increased by 14,600 in September, with 5,300 more residents employed and 9,300 more residents unemployed — that is, out of work and actively seeking it.

The jobs figures and the unemployment rate are based on separate surveys — one of employers, the other of households — and both are subject to revision.

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

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