Mass. Unemployment Rate Remains At 4.2 Percent

State labor officials say Massachusetts lost an estimated 6,400 jobs last month, due in part to a strike by Verizon workers, while the state's unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 percent.

The office of Labor and Workforce Development also reported Thursday that revised estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show the state added 15,200 jobs in April, up from the previous estimate of 13,900 jobs.

The six-week Verizon strike, affecting nearly 40,000 workers in nine states including Massachusetts, ended after a contract agreement May 31.

While the strike was cited as a key factor resulting in fewer jobs last month, leisure and hospitality was the only sector of the state economy that actually gained jobs in May.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate remained below last month's U.S. rate of 4.7 percent.

The state's labor force -- that is, people working and actively seeking work — increased by 5,100 people in May. The labor force participation rate remained steady, at 65 percent.

The jobs numbers are based on a survey of employers, while the unemployment rate is based on a survey of households. Both are subject to revision.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom


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