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Mass. Unemployment Rate Dips To 7.4 Percent

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BOSTON (AP) — The unemployment rate in Massachusetts dipped two percentage points in August to 7.4 percent, despite an estimated loss of nearly 9,000 jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate remained well below the rate nationally, which stood at 9.1 percent in August.

The 7.4 percent rate was down from 7.6 percent in July and was the lowest monthly rate in Massachusetts since February 2009.

Preliminary estimates from the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development showed a loss of 8,900 jobs in August, but those numbers were skewed by a strike against Verizon.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones reports.


About 6,000 workers who were on strike in Massachusetts were not counted as being employed because they were not on the company’s payroll at the time of last month’s survey. The striking workers later returned to their jobs after agreeing with the company to a process to settle their contract disputes.

The net job loss in August followed a gain of more than 10,000 jobs in July. While most sectors lost jobs last month, among those that gained were construction, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

Massachusetts has gained 47,700 private sector jobs so far this year, according to the office. The net year-to-date jobs gain is 41,800, due to reductions in the public sector workforce.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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