Filed at 1:13 p.m. ET
BOSTON (AP) — State officials say the Massachusetts unemployment rate, driven by gains in retail and financial service jobs, fell in March to 9.3 percent, 0.2 percentage points lower than the prior month.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday that the state added 7,600 jobs in March and 5,700 more people entered the labor force.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector, which includes retail, added 4,300 jobs. Financial services, which includes insurance and real estate, added 1,800 jobs, the first gain since October 2008. The technology, scientific and research sector also added jobs.
Jobs in education and health services, as well as construction, were down.
The national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent.