By Anthony Silva, WBZ NewsRadio 1030 New England Business Editor

BOSTON (CBS) – The Massachusetts unemployment rate has ticked up in October for the fourth straight month. The state says the jobless rate is now at 6.6%, still much lower than the national rate of 7.9%.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Anthony Silva reports

Massachusetts Secretary of Labor JoAnn Goldstein says the rate ticked up because more people started looking for work, adding to the labor force. About 8,000 people in Massachusetts started a job hunt in October. Goldstein says there are now about 20,000 people pounding the pavement around the state, looking for work.

Northeastern University economics professor Alan Clayton-Matthews calls the October jobs report “a pleasant surprise.”

As more people enter the labor force, a new survey shows more small businesses are planning to start hiring.

The survey by Bank of America finds that a majority of those asked plan to sustain or grow their staff next year.

Anna Colton at BoA tells me over 90% of respondents expect to either hire more employees, or maintain the size of their current workforce. She calls that compelling, because it’s an increase from just six months ago.

Colton adds that more than half the business owners surveyed by the bank say they think their revenue will increase next year, but 35% fell the local economy will not improve.


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