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State unemployment rate up to 3.5% last month

A help wanted sign is displayed in a storefront, Nov. 1, 2022, in Bedford, N.Y. (Julia Nikhinson/AP)
A help wanted sign is displayed in a storefront, Nov. 1, 2022, in Bedford, N.Y. (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

The statewide unemployment rate ticked upward slightly in October to 3.5% while employers added another 9,800 jobs, building on strong job growth in September, labor officials reported Friday.

After a steady stretch of improvement, the unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.4% in September, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Massachusetts rate stood two-tenths of a point lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.7% in October.

Total employment in Massachusetts increased by 9,800 jobs in October, and labor officials on Friday revised the September job growth upward from the originally reported figure of 13,800 to 22,900 positions.

Sectors with the largest month-over-month gains were financial activities, professional, scientific and business services, and government. Construction, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing all lost jobs in October.

Friday's data pushed the total statewide nonfarm employment, estimated via a survey of employers, to 3,710,600 people in October.

While Massachusetts continues to inch closer, the state still has not fully recovered all jobs shed during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Official labor data indicate Massachusetts had 3,740,100 nonfarm employees in February 2020, nearly 30,000 more than last month.

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