State’s Unemployment Rate Rises In April

The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.9 percent in April from the March rate of 3.6 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.

Massachusetts added 3,900 jobs in April, according to the preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the month, job gains occurred in the sectors of professional, scientific and business services; education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; information and manufacturing.

Year-over-year, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates Massachusetts has added 58,600 jobs.

The April state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent reported by BLS.

“Through the first four months of 2017, Massachusetts has added over 20,000 jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy like professional, business and scientific services,” Ronald L. Walker, II, secretary of labor and workforce development, said in a statement. “These job gains, coupled with large increases to the labor force and a low unemployment rate, are signs of a strong economy in the commonwealth. Our workforce agencies remain focused on closing the skills gap and ensuring that those newly entering the job market have the training necessary to access employment opportunities.”

The labor force increased by 33,000 from 3,661,200 in March, as 21,200 more residents were employed and 11,800 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percent from 4 percent in April 2016. There were 300 more unemployed persons over the year compared to April 2016.

The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks – increased six-tenths of a percent to 66.5 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased 1.5 percent compared to April 2016.

The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in professional, scientific and business services; construction; financial activities; education and health services.

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State’s Unemployment Rate Rises In April

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min