- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2019
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston — The state's December total unemployment rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point at 2.8 percent, The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 5,000 jobs in December. Over the month, the private sector lost 4,500 jobs as losses occurred in Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Manufacturing; Financial Activities; Education and Health Services; and Other Services. Gains occurred in Leisure and Hospitality along with Trade, Transportation, and Utilities while the jobs level in Information and Construction remained unchanged over the month. Government lost jobs over the month.
From December 2018 to December 2019, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 44,800 jobs.
The December unemployment rate was seven-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.5 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Preliminary job estimates indicate that Massachusetts added nearly 45,000 jobs in 2019. Education and Health Services once again led the way, posting a 23,900 gain, which accounted for 1 out every 2 jobs added in the Commonwealth last year. The statewide unemployment rate remained low – finishing at 2.8%. And the labor force participation rate held steady at 67.8%, 4.7% above the national average,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force increased by 6,700 from 3,849,700 in November, as 7,800 more residents were employed and 1,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point.
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 one-tenth of a percentage point to 67.8 percent. Compared to December 2018, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Education and Health Services; Information; Leisure, and Hospitality; and Financial Activities.
December 2019 Employment Overview
Leisure and Hospitality added 1,000 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality gained 7,800 (+2.1%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 800 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 1,000 (+0.2%) jobs.
Information jobs level remained unchanged (0.0%) over the month. Over the year, Information gained 2,300 (+2.5%) jobs.
Construction jobs level remained unchanged (0.0%) over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 800 (+0.5%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 2,900 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services gained 4,500 (+0.8%) jobs.
Manufacturing lost 1,800 (-0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 2,200 (-0.9%) jobs.
Financial Activities lost 800 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 3,400 (+1.5%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 600 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 23,900 (+3.0%) jobs.
Other Services lost 100 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 1,800 (+1.3%) jobs.
Government lost 500 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 1,500 (+0.3%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The December estimates show 3,747,000 Massachusetts residents were employed and 109,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,856,500. The unemployment rate dropped by one-tenth of a percentage point to 2.8 percent. The December labor force increased by 6,700 as 7,800 more residents were employed and 1,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 67.8 percent. The labor force was up 23,200 from the 3,833,200 December 2018 estimate, with 33,500 more residents employed and 10,200 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 December 2019 will be released on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. The preliminary January 2020 and revised 2018 and 2019 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 13, 2020. See the 2020 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.