Massachusetts Adds 10,100 Jobs in February Unemployment Rate at 3.4 percent
BOSTON, MA – The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.4 percent in February from the revised January rate of 3.2 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.
The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 10,100 jobs in February. Over the month job gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Construction; Manufacturing; and Information.
From February 2016 to February 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 57,700 jobs.
The February state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.7 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“This month’s report marks a new peak in jobs and the labor force in Massachusetts. That means more residents are working than ever before. The administration will continue to promote policies that connect those looking for work with the skills and training necessary to access a high demand career,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said.
The labor force increased by 27,600 from 3,599,300 in January, as 18,000 more residents were employed and 9,700 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.8 percent from 4.3 percent in February 2016. There were 27,300 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to February 2016.
The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks – increased four-tenths of a percentage point to 65.3 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased 0.3 percent compared to February 2016.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; and Financial Activities.
February 2017 Employment Overview:
Education and Health Services added 8,400 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 21,500 (+2.8%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 3,700 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 12,700 (+2.3%) jobs.
Construction added 600 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 5,300 (+3.7%) jobs.
Manufacturing gained 600 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,900 (-0.8%) jobs.
Information added 500 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 500 (+0.6%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,400 jobs (-0.4%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 2,200 (+0.6%) jobs.
Other Services lost 400 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 600 (+0.4%) jobs.
Financial Activities lost 200 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 3,900 (+1.7%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 5,600 (+1.0%) jobs.
Government lost 1,600 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 7,300 (+1.6%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The February estimates show 3,503,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 123,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,626,900. The unemployment rate was 3.4 percent. The February labor force increased by 27,600 from 3,599,300 in January, as 18,000 more residents were employed and 9,700 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.3 percent. The labor force was up 40,600 from the 3,586,300 February 2016 estimate, with 68,000 more residents employed and 27,300 fewer residents unemployed.
The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.
The labor force is the sum of the numbers of employed residents and those unemployed, that is residents not working but actively seeking work in the last four weeks. Estimates may not add up to the total labor force due to rounding.
Local area unemployment statistics for February 2017 will be released after the estimates have been finalized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The preliminary March 2017 and revised February 2017 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, April 20, 2017. See the 2017 Revised Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.