Massachusetts Adds 200 Jobs in March
Unemployment Rate at 3.6 Percent
April 20, 2017
BOSTON, MA – The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.6 percent in March from the February rate of 3.4 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.
The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 200 jobs in March. Over the month job gains occurred in Financial Activities; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Other Services; Construction; and Information.
From March 2016 to March 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 49,000 jobs.
The March state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.5 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Massachusetts continues to experience substantial increases to the labor force. As new workers enter the job market, our workforce agencies remain focused on fostering an employment environment where employee skill sets are better aligned to future job sector growth,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said.
The labor force increased by 34,500 from 3,626,800 in February, as 26,700 more residents were employed and 7,900 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped five-tenths of a percentage point from 4.1 percent in March 2016. There were 15,700 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to March 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 six-tenths of a percentage point to 65.9 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased 0.9 percent compared to March 2016.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Financial Activities; Construction; Education and Health Services; and Professional, Scientific and Business Services.
March 2017 Employment Overview
Financial Activities added 2,500 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 6,400 (+2.9%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 800 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 11,700 (+2.1%) jobs.
Other Services added 700 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 1,200 (+0.9%) jobs.
Construction gained 400 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 4,100 (+2.8%) jobs.
Information added 300 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 1,200 (+1.3%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,300 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 2,400 (+0.4%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 1,800 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 19,700 (+2.5%) jobs.
Manufacturing lost 900 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 3,100 (-1.3%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost 400 jobs (-0.1%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 2,400 (+0.7%) jobs.
Government added 900 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 3,000 (+0.7%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The March estimates show 3,530,000 Massachusetts residents were employed and 131,300 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,661,300. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. The March labor force increased by 34,500 from 3,626,800 in February, as 26,700 more residents were employed and 7,900 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.9 percent. The labor force was up 74,000 from the 3,587,300 March 2016 estimate, with 89,700 more residents employed and 15,700 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 March 2017 will be released on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. The preliminary April 2017 and revised March 2017 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, May 18, 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.