Mass. unemployment rate drops 2d straight month
The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell in November for the second month in row, suggesting that the state's struggling job market might be nearing a bottom.
The jobless rate slipped another tenth point in November, to 8.8 percent, following a four-tenths percentage point plunge in October, to 8.9 percent, said the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
In November, the national unemployment rate fell to 10 percent from 10.2 percent in October.
The state's job market, however, remains weak. Massachusetts employers sliced payrolls by another 1,700 jobs in November, led by steep losses in retail, personal services, financial services and government.
Still, two sectors that increasingly drive the state's economy posted strong gains. Education and health services added 3,100 jobs, while professional and business services, which includes a variety of technology, scientific and research firms, added 1,200 jobs.
Two industries hardest hit in recession also posted job gains. Manufacturing, which has lost 23,000 jobs, or 8 percent of employment, since the recession began here in March 2008, gained 900 jobs. Construction, which has lost one in five jobs since the beginning of recession, added 200 jobs, the second consecutive monthly gain.
The unemployment and payroll jobs reports can diverge at times because they are based on separate surveys by the US Labor Department. The unemployment rate is estimated from a survey of households, while payroll employment data comes from a survey of businesses.
To read today's press release from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, please click here.
To read a recent Globe story on the US unemployment rate, please click here.
To read the Globe story on Massachusetts unemployment numbers for October, please click here.