By Gintautas Dumcius
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE — The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in May, its lowest level since December 2007.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday morning that employers added 7,400 jobs in May, the ninth consecutive month of job gains.
The U.S. unemployment rate in May was 5.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
State estimates say there are 3.5 million employed Massachusetts residents and 168,700 unemployed residents. Unemployed residents are defined as people who have actively looked for work in the last four weeks.
The private sector, and in particular the construction sector, helped drive the job gains during May.
The construction sector added 3,500 jobs over the month. The trade, transportation and utilities sector picked up 2,500 jobs, while the financial activities sector added 700 jobs.
Other sectors that saw job gains included manufacturing (600), and education and health services (500), according to the state’s labor secretariat. The government sector added 300 jobs.
Sectors with losses included information (200), leisure and hospitality (300), and professional, scientific, and business services (400).
The job gains in April saw an upward revision: Instead of the 10,100 originally reported, the state picked up 11,200 jobs.
The April unemployment rate was 4.7 percent.
“We have had solid job growth in the last three months, with approximately 30,000 jobs added in the state,” Gov. Charlie Baker’s labor and workforce development chief Ron Walker II said in a statement.
The preliminary unemployment statistics for June, and the revised May rate, is slated to be released on July 16.