The Massachusetts unemployment rate edged upward for the third straight month, climbing to 6.5 percent in September, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.
The state’s unemployment rate maintained a recent low of 6 percent in June, but rose to 6.1 percent in July and 6.3 percent in August, before rising again last month. The trend was anticipated by economists, who said the current global slowdown, uncertainty about US tax policy, and other factors, such as rising gas prices, have contributed to a climate of uncertainty and slowed hiring.
Nationally, the unemployment rate for September was 7.8 percent, its lowest level in nearly four years.
“You don’t like to see it go up three months in a row, but year to year we’re continuing to see [job] gains,” said Andre Mayer, senior vice president for research at Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest business group. “We aren’t doing terribly well, but we should not overreact to the rise of the unemployment rate since we are in fact creating some jobs.”
Massachusetts employers added 5,100 jobs last month, the state labor department said. The unemployment rose in part because more workers, including discouraged workers who had given up job searches, entered the labor force in September.
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