Through the highs of the real estate boom and the lows of the Great Recession that followed, employment in Massachusetts never reached the peak it hit in February 2001, an era of wild-eyed optimism that ultimately ended in the collapse of the dot-com bubble in the technology industry.
At least not until now.
Massachusetts employment hit a record high in March, with about 3.4 million people holding jobs.
This time, there is reason to think that the recovery could be a lasting one, said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews.
“We didn’t pass this [jobs] milestone because of an irrationally exuberant bubble,” he said, “but because of steady growth that looks like it’s on a trend to continue.”
More than six years after the 2008 recession, Massachusetts’s recovery has been marked by slowly improving unemployment and consumer confidence. The state reported Thursday that unemployment fell for the third month in a row to 6.3 percent in March from 7.1 percent in December. In recent years, the Massachusetts rate has generally been below the US average, which was 6.7 percent in March.