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November 15, 2019

State unemployment flat at 2.9%

The Massachusetts unemployment rate remained steady at 2.9% in October, keeping its place in the upper third nationally.

The new numbers released by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on Friday show year-to-year growth of 51,700 jobs across the state. The state added 10,300 in October alone.

The bulk of new jobs has come in industries like education and health services, and professional, scientific and business services. Manufacturing, a bellwether industry impacted by the trade war with China, grew very slightly by 0.2%, or 500 jobs, last month. For the year, manufacturing employment remains down by 0.1%, or 300 jobs.

The state's labor force participation rate – residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks –  increased by one-tenth of a percent over the month to 67.7%. Compared to October 2018, the labor force participation rate is down two-tenths of a percentage point. 

The state continues to beat the national rate of 3.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate was 3.2% in September in the Worcester metropolitan area, which includes Worcester County and Connecticut's Windham County.

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