- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates For February
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent in February, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 13,700 jobs in February. Over the month, the private sector added 13,100 jobs as gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Construction; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Other Services; and Financial Activities. The jobs level remained unchanged in Leisure and Hospitality.
From February 2017 to February 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 39,100 jobs.
The February unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“2017 was the first time since 2000 in which the monthly unemployment rate remained below 4 percent for the entire year in the Commonwealth. Our low unemployment rate, coupled with over the year job and labor force gains, all point towards the continued strength of the Massachusetts economy.” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force increased by 10,000 from 3,659,600 in January, as 9,500 more residents were employed and 500 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.9 percent in February 2017.
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 –is up one-tenth of a percentage point at 65.4 percent. The labor force participation rate over the year has decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point compared to February 2017.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Other Services.
February 2018 Employment Overview
Education and Health Services added 6,900 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 5,900 (+0.7%) jobs.
Construction added 2,900 (+1.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 10,700 (+7.2%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 1,700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 200 (0.0%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 700 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 11,200 (+2.0%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 1,800 (+0.7%) jobs.
Other Services added 300 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 2,600 (+1.9%) jobs.
Financial Activities gained 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 600 (+0.3%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality jobs level remained unchanged over the month (0.0%). Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 9,200 (+2.5%) jobs.
Information lost 300 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 1,700 (-1.9%) jobs.
Government added 600 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 1,300 (-0.3%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The February estimates show 3,542,000 Massachusetts residents were employed and 127,600 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,669,600. The unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent for the fifth consecutive month. The February labor force increased by 10,000 from 3,659,600 in January, as 9,500 more residents were employed and 500 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.4 percent. The labor force was up 17,700 from the 3,651,900 February 2017 estimate, with 31,800 more residents employed and 14,100 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 February 2018 will be released on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. The preliminary March 2018 and revised February 2018 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, April 20, 2018. See the 2018 Revised Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.