- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2020
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston — image
For Immediate Release
January 22, 2021
The state’s December total unemployment rate is up 0.7 percentage points at 7.4 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicates Massachusetts lost 600 jobs in December. This follows last month’s revised gain of 12,600 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 5,200 jobs as gains occurred in Professional and Business Services; Trade, Transportation, And Utilities; Construction; Manufacturing; and Financial Activities. Losses occurred in Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; Information; Other Services and Government.
From December 2019 to December 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 335,400 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Construction; and Education and Health Services.
The December unemployment rate was 0.7 percentage points above the national rate of 6.7 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The labor force increased by 70,400 from 3,588,100 in November, as 39,800 more residents were employed and 30,600 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 4.6 percentage points.
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 – was up by 1.2 percentage points over the month at 64.5 percent. Compared to December 2019, the labor force participation rate is down by 3.4 percentage points.
December 2020 Employment Overview
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 8,400 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 9,900 (-1.6%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 6,100 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 30,700 (-5.3%) jobs.
Construction added 2,600 (+1.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has lost 11,300 (-7.0%) jobs.
Manufacturing gained 800 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost -6,500 (-2.7%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities lost 600 (-0.3%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost -9,200 (-3.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality lost 145,800 (-38.4%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost -2,800 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services lost 66,500 (-8.1%) jobs.
Information lost 800 (-0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 4,300 (-4.6%) jobs.
Other Services lost 100 jobs OTM (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down -25,900 (-18.7%) jobs.
Government lost -5,800 (-1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 33,700 (-7.4%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The December estimates show 3,386,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 271,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,658,500. The unemployment rate at 7.4 percent was up by 0.7 percentage points from the November estimate of 6.7 percent. The December labor force increased by 70,400 from 3,588,100 in November, as 39,800 more residents were employed, and 30,600 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was up 1.2 percentage points over the month at 64.5 percent. Over the year, the labor force was down 175,800 from the 3,834,300 December 2019 estimate, with 340,900 fewer residents employed and 165,200 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics implemented the Current Population Survey level-shift outliers into the estimation models to incorporate the state claims and CES inputs starting with the revised March estimates. These level shifts preserved movements in published estimates that the models otherwise would have discounted as sampling error. Seasonal factors, which were suspended beginning with the March estimates, have been resumed and were applied starting with the June estimates.
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.
For further information on seasonal adjustment methodology, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website https://www.bls.gov.
Local area unemployment statistics for December 2020 will be released on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The preliminary January 2021 and revised 2020 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 12, 2021. See the 2021 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.