Business & Tech

Job gains pick up in April after sluggish March

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 10: A Now Hiring sign is seen as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in the first full month of President Donald Trump's term on March 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. The overall economic momentum and optimism was given an extra push by February's unusually warm weather, with almost a quarter of the jobs " about 58,000 " coming from construction alone. Manufacturing and mining also bounced up. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Hiring in Massachusetts picked up last month.

Massachusetts employers added 3,900 jobs in April, rebounding after a sluggish March.

The state’s unemployment rate climbed to 3.9 percent in April from 3.6 percent the previous month, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday. The uptick came as more people returned to the labor market in search of work.

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The Massachusetts unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent in April. The state data have followed a similar pattern to national trends this spring. In March, when state employers expanded their payrolls by a meager 200 positions, the nation added a disappointing 98,000 jobs. In April, payrolls nationwide bounced back with employers adding 211,000 jobs.

The number of Massachusetts residents who worked or were actively seeking jobs increased to 66.5 percent, a sign that sidelined workers feel more optimistic about their chances of finding employment. The participation rate has improved by 1.5 percentage points from April 2016, the state reported.

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Most of the job gains last month came in the state’s most reliable industries: professional, scientific and business services; education and health services; and trade and transportation.

“Through the first four months of 2017, Massachusetts has added over twenty thousand jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy,” Ronald L. Walker II, the 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.”

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.
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