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Massachusetts job market slowed last month

A "now hiring" sign is displayed in a window on July 28, 2022 in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty

The Massachusetts job market showed signs of cooling off in August.

Local employers added an estimated 6,400 jobs last month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported on Friday. This is down from a revised 10,500 jobs added in July, but up from the 5,800 added in June.

The state unemployment rate now sits at 3.6 percent, one-tenth of a percentage point higher than last month and one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the national figure, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Most private sectors within the state saw job gains last month. Leisure and hospitality saw the biggest boost, adding 5,300 jobs in August, and trade, transportation, and utilities tacked on 2,300 jobs. The government sector saw the largest drop in August, shedding 3,400 jobs, after showing the highest growth in July with a reported increase of 12,800 jobs. Manufacturing lost 800 jobs last month.


The labor force of the state — meaning those who are either employed or looking for a job — dropped by an estimated 2,200 people to 3,763,300. The labor force participation rate, which is the portion of the 16-and-over population who are employed or actively searching for a job, held steady from July at 65.8 percent.

These figures come at a time when the Federal Reserve is expected to continue hiking up interest rates through the end of the year in an attempt to curb red-hot inflation. These rate increases, an effort from the central bank to tamp down consumer spending, could lead to higher unemployment rates as employers seek to manage costs.

The state’s job figures are often revised month by month as more precise data becomes available.

Material from previous Globe reports was used in this story.

Dana Gerber can be reached at dana.gerber@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @danagerber6.