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Mass. jobless rate up, but more jobs gained in May

June 20, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts unemployment rate ticked up to 6.6 percent in May, compared to 6.4 percent in the previous month, while preliminary estimates show the state gained 3,500 jobs, the state office of Labor and Workforce Development reported on Thursday.

The job gain, however, would only barely offset a revised loss of 3,300 jobs in April.

The unemployment rate is based on a sample survey or households, while the job estimates compiled by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is calculated on the basis of a monthly survey of employers. As a result, the figures can often show different trends.

The bureau originally estimated a loss of 1,400 jobs in April. Even with the steeper loss in that month, officials say the state has still gained a net 14,500 jobs since the beginning of the year and nearly 50,000 jobs in the past 12 months.

The 6.6 percent unemployment rate, however, is only a drop below the rate of 6.7 percent recorded in May 2012.

Job gains were reported in several sectors of the state economy in May, including trade, transportation, and utilities; construction; financial activities; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

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