- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

BOSTON (AP) - State labor officials say Massachusetts gained an estimated 7,200 jobs in August, marking the 12th consecutive month of employment growth.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development also reported Thursday that the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 in August, remaining below the previously-announced national rate of 5.1 percent.

According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Massachusetts has added an estimated 56,500 jobs so far in 2015.

The largest private sector job gains last month came in the areas of leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional, scientific and business services.

But about 2,600 manufacturing jobs were lost in August.

Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker said the state was working on strategies to help those who are unemployed find work.

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