Massachusetts jobless rate drops; Red Sox lay off workers

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts unemployment rate that soared during the early months of the coronavius pandemic fell 4.9 percentage points in August to 11.3%, according to numbers released Friday by state and federal labor officials.

Massachusetts no longer has the highest unemployment rate in the country, a distinction that now goes to Nevada.

The August rate is significantly lower than the revised 16.2% jobless rate in Massachusetts in July, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

The nationwide unemployment rate fell from 10.2% to 8.4% in August.

Massachusetts added more than 51,000 jobs last month after adding nearly 71,000 in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the state continues to recover from the economic shutdown prompted by the pandemic.

Gains occurred in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; manufacturing; information; and construction.

The one loss occurred in financial activities.

Government jobs grew during the month.

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RED SOX LAYOFFS

The Red Sox have laid off 10% of their full-time employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boston Globe reported Friday that about 40 workers on the business side were let go. Earlier this month, the team told nine baseball operations employees in player development, amateur scouting and pro scouting that their contracts would not be renewed.

Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy told the Globe that the staff reductions were due to what he called “the profound impact of this ongoing pandemic.”

He said the team has set up assistance measures including severance pay, health care, and outplacement support to help those laid off find new jobs.

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