- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent in October, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 4,800 jobs in October. Over the month, the private sector added 4,100 jobs as gains occurred in Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Other Services; Financial Activities; Manufacturing; Construction; and Information. The September estimate was revised to a gain of 10,300 jobs.
From October 2016 to October 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 69,000 jobs.
The October unemployment rate was four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The low unemployment rate and job gains are indicators of the ongoing strength of the economy in Massachusetts. But not all communities and regions are feeling the benefits of this economy equally. Our workforce development programs continue to prioritize closing skills gaps and connecting all citizens of the Commonwealth to prosperous career pathways,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force decreased by 13,400 from 3,669,500 in September, as 5,600 fewer residents were employed and 7,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased five-tenths of a percentage point from 3.2 percent in October 2016. There were 19,600 more unemployed residents over the year compared to October 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 – decreased three-tenths of a percentage point to 65.5 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased by 0.8 percentage point compared to October 2016.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Other Services; Construction; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Financial Activities; and Education and Health Services.
October 2017 Employment Overview
Leisure and Hospitality added 5,400 jobs (+1.5%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality gained 5,700 (+1.6%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 4,800 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 20,500 (+3.7%) jobs.
Other Services added 1,500 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 6,900 (+5.0%) jobs.
Financial Activities gained 600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 5,500 (+2.5%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 500 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing added 1,000 (+0.4%) jobs.
Construction gained 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 6,900 (+4.7%) jobs.
Information added 200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 200 (-0.2%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 7,900 (-1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 16,800 (+2.1%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 1,200 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 5,400 (+0.9%) jobs.
Government added 700 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 400 (+0.1%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The October estimates show 3,521,300 Massachusetts residents were employed and 134,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,656,100. The unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent over the month. The October labor force decreased by 13,400 from 3,669,500 in September, as 5,600 fewer residents were employed and 7,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.5 percent. The labor force was up 70,700 from the 3,585,400 October 2016 estimate, with 51,200 more residents employed and 19,600 more 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 October 2017 will be released on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. The preliminary November 2017 and revised October 2017 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, December 21, 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.