Mass. unemployment rate falls to 7.1%

Massachusetts employers added 14,100 jobs in February as the state’s unemployment rate fell to 7.1%, labor officials announced Friday.

The joblessness rate dropped 0.7 percentage points from January, and it now stands at the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic hit more than a year ago.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate dipped to 7.1%, officials announced Friday.

February’s rate was 0.9 percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.2%.

The state unemployment rate remains more than twice as high as the 2.7% joblessness rate reported in March 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data based on a household survey.

Using a separate survey of employers, labor officials estimated that the state’s private sector gained 22,300 jobs in February, while government employment dropped by 8,200.

The leisure and hospitality industry — one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to business that came with public health precautions — reported the largest gain with 10,300 jobs over the month.

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