Mass. unemployment slips to 9.2 percent in April
Employment growth surged in Massachusetts last month as employers added nearly 20,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today.
The April gains were the largest monthly increase in 17 years, as employers added jobs for the third consecutive. The unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent in April from 9.3 percent in March and 9.5 percent in February.
“We are on the mend and on the move,” Governor Deval Patrick said in a statement. “Still, I understand that positive statistics mean little to the person who is out of work and looking for a job. For them and for our future, we will keep pushing.”
The surge in job growth is the latest sign that the recovery has not only taken hold in Massachusetts, but has begun to accelerate. The state has added nearly 30,000 jobs over the past three months.
Job gains were broadly based, spread across seven of 10 major employment sectors. Professional and business services, a key sector that includes technology, scientific, and technical firms, led the employment surge, adding 7,200 jobs over the month. Education and health services, another stalwart of the Massachusetts economy, added nearly 3,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, long-struggling industries posted strong gains in April. The hard-hit construction industry, which lost one in four jobs during the recession, added nearly 4,000 jobs last month. Manufacturing added 1,500 jobs, and financial services 1,100.
Government, likely boosted by Census hiring, added 2,600 jobs. Retailers added 1,500 jobs.
Sectors that shed jobs were leisure and hospitality, which lost 1,400; other services, which includes repair and personal services, which lost 1,300; and information, which includes software and other publishers, and lost 200.