Business

Mass. unemployment rate fell to 6% in April

Local economy lost 1,600 jobs

Massachusetts unemployment rate fell to 6 percent in April as the local economy lost 1,600 jobs, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a report issued Thursday.

The current national unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate for March was also 6.3 percent; that month, Massachusetts employment hit a record high, with about 3.4 million people holding jobs.

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How could the state’s April unemployment rate fall even while the Massachusetts economy was shedding jobs? One reason is that people who become discouraged and stop looking for jobs are no longer counted as part of the workforce.

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For April, the number of Massachusetts jobs lost in the private sector was 3,000, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is also known as BLS. During the month, the number of local, state, and federal government jobs grew by 1,400 in the state.

Among sectors of the Massachusetts economy adding jobs in April were transportation and utilities, financial services, and construction, BLS said.

Sectors losing jobs in April included leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and education and health services, the bureau said.

BLS also revised its March estimates upward to 9,200 jobs gained for the month from the 8,100 jobs previously reported for the month.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.