The state unemployment rate last month dropped below three percent for the first time since December 2000, falling one-tenth of a point to 2.9 percent.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced the preliminary April numbers Friday, and Secretary Rosalin Acosta said the addition of 25,400 jobs year-to-date with a low unemployment rate shows that Massachusetts employers are continuing "to add jobs to help fuel their growth needs."

The labor force participation rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 67.8 percent. The labor force decreased by 3,200 from 3,843,500 in March, with 1,600 fewer residents employed and 1,600 fewer unemployed.

In the private sector, the fields of construction and professional, scientific and business services posted the most job gains in April, adding 2,400 and 2,300 jobs, respectively.

Government added 100 jobs. Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 2,500 jobs over the month.

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