The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 6.4 percent in March, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. However, officials say the drop was largely due to the more than 6,000 people who stopped looking for work. Only those who actively seek jobs are counted as unemployed by labor officials. Additionally, Massachusetts employers cut 5,500 jobs in March. In the previous month, employers cut 800 jobs, according to revised numbers.
Across the country, unemployment rates fell in more than half the U.S. states in March, even though job growth slowed. Twenty-six states reported lower unemployment rates, 7 states reported higher rates and rates stayed the same in 17 states. Rates fell largely because many of those out of work stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.