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Mass. job market strengthened in July, as labor force shrank

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The Massachusetts job market got stronger in July.

Local employers added 13,500 jobs last month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said on Friday. That’s up from a revised 5,800 jobs in June and just 400 in May. The state unemployment rate also sits at 3.5 percent, the same as the national rate and down two-tenths of a point from last month.

Among the employment gains, government added 12,800 jobs over the month, while professional and business services rose by 5,500 jobs. Leisure and hospitality lost 12,300 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities shed 1,200 jobs.

But the Massachusetts labor force — people who have a job or are looking for one — decreased by an estimated 7,500 people to 3.76 million. The labor force participation rate is 65.8 percent, down slightly from June.

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It all comes at a time when the Federal Reserve’s actions to slow down the economy could raise unemployment. The agency has boosted interest rates four times this year in a bid to tame inflation, a move that aims to reduce consumer spending and will likely cause businesses to slow or pause any expansion plans.

Each month, the state jobs figures are subject to change as more finely detailed data come in.

Material from previous Globe reports was used in this story.


Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com.Follow her on Twitter @ditikohli_.