- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2021
Michele Campbell, Director of Communications
Boston, MA — The state’s December total unemployment rate dropped by 1.3 percentage points at 3.9 percent from the revised November estimate of 5.2 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 20,100 jobs in December. This follows last month’s revised gain of 14,200 jobs. The largest over the month private sector job gains were in Leisure and Hospitality, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Educational and Health Services. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 537,000 jobs.
From December 2020 to December 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 222,200 jobs. The largest over the year gains occurred in Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Education and Health Services.
The December unemployment rate of 3.9 percent was the same as the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The labor force decreased by 41,700 from 3,732,000 in November, as 7,900 more residents were employed, and 49,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 4.5 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 down seven-tenths of a percentage point at 65.4 percent. Compared to December 2020, the labor force participation rate is down 1.1 percentage points.
December 2021 Employment Overview
Leisure and Hospitality gained 4,400 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 65,200 (+25.6%) jobs were added.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 3,600 (+0.6%) over the month. Over the year, 19,700 (+3.6%) jobs were added.
Education and Health Services gained 3,300 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 36,400 (+4.9%) jobs were added.
Professional and Business Services gained 2,900 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 40,600 (+7.0%) jobs were added.
Construction gained 2,000 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 10,000 (+6.2%) jobs were added.
Government gained 1,300 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 23,200 (+5.5%) jobs were added.
Manufacturing gained 1,100 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 9,900 (+4.3%) jobs were added.
Other Services gained 800 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 7,900 (+7.0%) jobs were added.
Information gained 700 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 7,900 (+9.2%) jobs were added.
Financial Activities had no change in jobs over the month. Over the year, 1,300 (+0.6%) jobs were added.
Labor Force Overview
The December estimates show 3,545,200 Massachusetts residents were employed and 145,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,690,300. The unemployment rate was down 1.3 percentage points at 3.9 percent. Over the month, the December labor force was down by 41,700 from 3,732,000 in November, with 7,900 more residents employed and 49,600 fewer residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was down by 0.7 percentage point at 65.4 percent. The labor force was down 62,800 from the December 2020 estimate of 3,753,100, as 106,600 more residents were employed and 169,400 fewer residents were 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.
These data are considered preliminary and are subject to revision in the month after initial publication. Revisions for December were larger than historical averages as the Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to improve the performance of their models in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and subsequent recovery. Additional adjustments to labor force and unemployment data for prior years are made at the beginning of each year. Those adjusted estimates incorporate updated population controls from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model re-estimation.
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 2021 will be released on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The preliminary January 2022 and revised 2021 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 11, 2022. See the 2022 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi