Press Release

Press Release  Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2023

Labor force increases by 13,900, largest increase since January 2022; Unemployment at 3.2%
For immediate release:
1/19/2024
  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2023

Matthew Kitsos, Director of Communications

Release Graphic for MassLWD

BOSTONThe state’s December total unemployment rate was 3.2 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from the revised November estimate of 2.9 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 0.5 percentage points lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.5 percentage points.

The labor force grew by an estimated 13,900 from the revised estimate of 3,729,000 in November, the largest single month increase since January 2022. The increase is a result of 1,300 more residents employed and 12,600 more residents unemployed over-the-month. 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 by 0.3 percentage point at 64.9 percent over-the-month. Compared to December 2022, the labor force participation rate was up 0.2 percentage points.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 4,300 jobs in December. This follows November’s revised gain of 6,400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services, Information, and Manufacturing. Employment now stands at 3,793,700. Massachusetts gained 732,100 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From December 2022 to December 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 69,800 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in Education and Health Services, Construction, and Leisure and Hospitality.

December 2023 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 3,500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 35,700 were added.

Information gained 900 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,000 were added.

Construction gained 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 9,000 were added.

Manufacturing gained 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 900 were added.

Other Services gained 400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,800 were added.

Government gained 400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,800 were added.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 6,600 were added.

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 2,900 were added.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,000 were added.

Financial Activities lost 1,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,100 were added.

Labor Force Overview

The December estimates show 3,622,600 Massachusetts residents were employed and 120,300 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,742,900. The unemployment rate at 3.2 percent was up 0.3 percentage point from the revised November rate of 2.9 percent. Over-the-month, the December labor force increased by 13,900 from 3,729,000 in November, with 1,300 more residents employed and 12,600 more residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of the working age population employed and unemployed, increased by 0.3 percentage points over-the-month at 64.9 percent. The labor force was up 16,500 from the December 2022 estimate of 3,726,400, with 33,000 more employed residents, and 16,600 fewer unemployed residents.

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.

NOTES:

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.

The preliminary January 2024 and revised 2023 unemployment rate, labor force, and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 8, 2024. See the 2024 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.

Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/economicresearch.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for December 2023

  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development  

    The mission of EOLWD is to create, operate. and oversee effective and innovative statewide services to: protect worker rights, health, safety, wages and working conditions; insure against job-related injury; provide individuals and families with economic stability following job loss or injury and illness; level the playing field for responsible employers; develop a pipeline of skilled workers for current, emerging and future employers; and, maintain labor harmony between employees, employers, and labor unions.
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