- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — BOSTON, MA –The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in September, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 9,300 jobs in September. Over the month, the private sector added 8,600 jobs as gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Construction; Leisure and Hospitality; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Manufacturing. The August estimate was revised to a gain of 8,000 jobs.
From September 2016 to September 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 62,300 jobs.
The September unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.2 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"The unemployment rate remains low and Massachusetts has continued to add jobs in key economic sectors throughout 2017. These two measures are indicators of the strength of the Commonwealth's economy. By addressing skills gaps and talent shortages we'll help to ensure that all in the Commonwealth have access to high demand jobs," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force decreased by 10,800 from 3,680,500 in August, as 900 more residents were employed and 11,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased six-tenths of a percentage point from 3.3 percent in September 2016. There were 23,800 more unemployed residents over the year compared to September 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 65.8 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased 1.0 percent compared to September 2016.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Other Services; Construction; Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; and Financial Activities.
September 2017 Employment Overview
Education and Health Services added 6,000 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 26,500 (+3.4%) jobs.
Construction gained 2,700 (+1.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 6,200 (+4.3%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality added 2,600 jobs (+0.7%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality gained 700 (+0.2%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 3,000 (+0.5%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 700 (-0.3%) jobs.
Information lost 2,200 (-2.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 1,900 (-2.1%) jobs.
Financial Activities lost 900 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 4,600 (+2.1%) jobs.
Other Services lost 700 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 6,200 (+4.6%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 700 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientifi,c and Business Services added 14,800 (+2.7%) jobs.
Government added 700 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 2,900 (+0.6%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The September estimates show 3,527,200 Massachusetts residents were employed and 142,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,669,700. The unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent over the month. The September labor force decreased by 10,800 from 3,680,500 in August, as 900 more residents were employed and 11,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.8 percent. The labor force was up 83,600 from the 3,586,100 September 2016 estimate, with 59,800 more residents employed and 23,800 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 September 2017 will be released on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The preliminary October 2017 and revised September 2017 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, November 16, 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.