By Lisa van der Pool, Boston Business Journal


BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts’ unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in March, down from 6.9 percent in February, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The state added a total of 8,700 jobs last month.

Year to date, Massachusetts has added 29,800 jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate remains below the country’s jobless rate of 8.2 percent.

Job losses and gains, by industry sector:

Professional, Scientific and Business Services: Up 1.0% (4,900 jobs) over the month; Up 3.6 percent (17,000 jobs) over the year. Job growth was concentrated in professional, scientific and technical services, which grew by 3.8 percent over the year (9,600 jobs).

Trade, Transportation and Utilities: Up 0.5 percent (2,800 jobs) over the month; Up 2.0 percent (10,700 jobs) over the year. Retail trade grew by 2.4 percent (8,100 jobs) over the year.

Education and Health Services: Up 0.4 percent (2,500 jobs) over the month; Up 0.3 percent (2,300 jobs) over the year.

Manufacturing: Up 0.1 percent (300 jobs) over the month; Up 0.7 percent (1,700 jobs) over the year. A gain in durable goods outweighed a loss in non-durable goods.

Other Services: Up 0.1 percent (100 jobs) over the month; Up 2.3 percent (2,700 jobs) over the year.

Mining and Logging: Unchanged.

Construction: Down 0.6 percent (700 jobs) over the month; Down 1.1 percent (1,200 jobs) over the year.

Leisure and Hospitality: Down 0.2 percent (600 jobs) over the month; Up 1.7 percent (5,400 jobs) over the year. Over the month, a loss in accommodation and food services outweighed a gain in arts, entertainment and recreation.

Financial Activities: Down 0.1 percent (300 jobs) over the month; Down 1.4 percent (2,800 jobs) over the year lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Finance and insurance was down 1.3 percent (2,100 jobs); Real estate, rental and leasing was down 1.8 percent (700 jobs).

Information: Down 0.1 percent (100 jobs) over the month; Over the year, down 1.4 percent (1,200 jobs).

Government: Lost 200 jobs for a 0 percent drop. The federal government added 100 jobs, while state government remained unchanged, and local government lost 300.

Lisa van der Pool of the Boston Business Journal can be seen weekdays at 6 a.m. on WBZ-TV.

You can follow Lisa on Twitter at @lvanderpool.

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