Mass jobless rate up to 7.2 percent


The Massachusetts unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in July and is up nearly half a point from a year ago. State officials reported the latest jobs data August 15, with the addition of 300 jobs last month overshadowed by a revised report on June jobs activity.

After initially reporting the addition of 2,800 jobs in June, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Massachusetts had actually lost 2,100 jobs that month. The state uses federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data for its estimates. In a blog post Thursday, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest business trade group, noted that while the state’s jobless rate is up 0.4 percent over the past year, the national unemployment rate had dropped by 0.8 percent over the past year to 7.4 percent.

AIM’s Andre Mayer reported that “while this local news is not good,” statistics released this week show growth in the Eurozone after six quarters of contraction, which could be good news for Massachusetts since it ranks second among states for its dependence on exports to Europe. Separately on Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index in the Boston area rose 1.9 percent over the past year while the national increase was 2 percent. Food prices rose locally by 1.4 percent over the year.