Mass. jobless rates dips to 7.8 percent in April
BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts unemployment rate continued falling in April.
In April the rate dropped to 7.8 percent, down from 8 percent in March and well below the national unemployment rate of 9 percent. That's down from a state high of 8.8 percent in October 2009.
Helping drive down the rate was the addition of 19,500 jobs in April.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said gains occurred in several sectors, including leisure and hospitality, transportation, education, health services, manufacturing, financial services and construction.
Government and other services shed jobs.
Gov. Deval Patrick called the report "hopeful news" that shows the state is continuing a robust recovery. He credited the recovery in part to investments in education and the state's infrastructure.
Since January, 34,200 jobs have been added in the Commonwealth.
Georgia's unemployment falls to 9.9 percent
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined to 9.9 percent in April, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised 10 percent in March, Georgia's labor commissioner said.
The state's jobless rate was 10.1 percent in April a year ago.
Commissioner Mark Butler said Thursday it's the first time in nearly two years that Georgia's unemployment has dipped below 10 percent and it's also the third consecutive month of job growth in the state.
"This developing trend shows increasing confidence in the economy," Butler said.
The last time the state's rate was below 10 percent was in June 2009, when it was 9.8 percent.
There were 3,834,100 payroll jobs in April, up by 30,100 from March. Most of the jobs were added in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, trade, educational and health services and construction.
There were 254,800 long-term unemployed Georgians in April, down 6,700, or 2.6 percent, from 261,500 in March, Butler said.
He said the long-term unemployed account for 55.1 percent of Georgia's 462,370 jobless workers.
Butler said 54,337 laid-off workers filed initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits in April, an increase of 4,006, or 8 percent, from 50,331 in March. Most of the first-time claims were filed in manufacturing, administrative and support services, trade, and construction.
Minn. unemployment dips to 6.5 percent in April
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's unemployment rate edged down a tenth of a percentage point to a seasonally adjusted 6.5 percent in April, though the state lost 5,200 jobs — a decline officials said was largely because of poor weather.
The state figure is still well below April's national rate of 9 percent, which was up from 8.8 percent a month earlier.
The figures Thursday from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development showed that the state's job losses in April were mostly due to difficulty in the construction sector. That was offset some by the state revising upward the number of jobs gained a month earlier.
Steve Hine, DEED Labor Market Information Office research director, said April's lousy weather fizzled out the seasonal hiring increases that are typically seen across the state.
"I really do believe that a lot of this weakness here was related to the weather," Hine said.
Commissioner Mark Phillips drew a parallel between April's job losses and the drop in fishing license purchased by the season opener.
"People didn't open their cabins in April like usual," Phillips said.
The lag in construction contributed to weakness in the specialty trade sector, areas like pluming, carpentry and subcontracting. That's because those sectors typically rely on new construction before they can work, Hine said.
Leisure and hospitality led all sectors in April, gaining 3,100 jobs. Within that figure, bars, restaurants and lodging showed significant increases, Hine said. Recreation, however, showed a loss. In early April, only two-thirds of the golf courses in Minnesota were open, Hine said.
Professional business services gained 2,600 jobs in April. That sector led the others over the past year, gaining 8,300 jobs in total.
The numbers illustrate how vulnerable Minnesota jobs are to seasonal variation, Hine said.
"I look forward to seeing what May's numbers produce before I conclude there's either underlying weakness," he said, "or whether it really, truly was a weather-related blip."
Pa. jobless rate dips in April, payrolls rise 23K
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania reported strong job growth in April, as the unemployment rate dropped for a fourth straight month and employers added more than 20,000 jobs to their payrolls.
The state Department of Labor and Industry said Thursday that the unemployment rate in April was 7.5 percent, a drop of 0.3 percent to a level not seen since 2009. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9 percent in April, up from 8.8 percent in March.
A separate survey of employers showed nonfarm payrolls in Pennsylvania rose by 23,700 to nearly 5.7 million, the highest since January 2009.
The state unemployment rate since the recession began in December 2007 peaked at 8.8 percent in January 2010, while employers have added more than 120,000 jobs since February 2010.