Business & Tech

Massachusetts jobless rate falls for the first time this year

The Massachusetts unemployment rate for April will be released Thursday.
Fewer people were unemployed in Massachusetts last month.

The state’s unemployment rate last month fell for the first time this year, landing at 4.2 percent in August.

That was down slightly from 4.3 percent in July, when Massachusetts for the first time in a decade matched the national jobless rate. The state’s unemployment rate had been increasing steadily since January, when it was 3.2 percent.

The August figure puts Massachusetts’ rate at two-tenths of a percentage point below the national average, restoring a key talking point for the state’s elected officials and business leaders.


Massachusetts added an estimated 10,800 jobs in August, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday through the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Year over year, Massachusetts has added an estimated 57,400 jobs thus far in 2017.

Get Talking Points in your inbox:
An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered weekdays.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

At 7,100, the professional, scientific, and business services sectors gained the most in August. These sectors combined have added 16,800 jobs so far this year.

The information, construction, and manufacturing sectors also boosted employment last month, as did government. The financial, education, and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality sectors all showed declines in employment.

August estimates show more than 3.5 million Massachusetts residents were employed and 154,200 were out of work.

The state’s July jobs estimate was also revised to show a gain of 2,500 positions. The original estimate reported a loss of 200 jobs.

Katheleen Conti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKConti.