- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for January 2020
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston — The state’s January total unemployment remained unchanged at 2.8 percent for the sixth consecutive month following on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual revisions, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 11,800 jobs in January. Over the month, the private sector added 11,100 jobs as gains occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Financial Activities; Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Information; Construction; and Manufacturing.
From January 2019 to January 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts added 33,400 jobs.
The January unemployment rate was eight-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.6 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Following year-end revisions, BLS now estimates Massachusetts added 33,400 jobs over the year. In addition to those job gains, the labor force increased by 27,000 from last year’s level, with 39,400 more residents employed and 12,300 fewer residents unemployed," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,834,300 in December, as 2,300 more residents were employed and 400 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 – remained unchanged at 67.9 percent. Compared to January 2019, the labor force participation rate is up two-tenths of a percentage point.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Information; Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Construction.
Annual revisions to the job estimates show growth was greater than previously published for 2018 and less in 2019. In 2018, 42,700 jobs were added over the year. In 2019, estimates indicate 26,100 jobs were added over the year. BLS annually updates job estimates for each state with the most up-to-date information supplied by employers.
Annual year-end revisions show the unemployment rates were slightly lower than the previously published estimates for August 2019 through November 2019. The labor force estimates were lower than previously published estimates for 2015 to 2019.
January 2020 Employment Overview
Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 3,400 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 2,900 (+0.5%) jobs.
Education and Health Services added 2,000 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 11,700 (+1.4%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 7,000 (+1.2%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 1,100 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 1,300 (+0.6%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality added 800 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality gained 2,100 (+0.6%).
Other Services added 800 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 100 (+0.1%) jobs.
Information added 600 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information gained 3,600 (+3.9%) jobs.
Construction added 500 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 1,000 (+0.6%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,500 (-0.6%) jobs.
Government added 700 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 5,200 (+1.1%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The January estimates show 3,729,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 106,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,836,100. The unemployment rate remained steady at 2.8 percent. The January labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,834,300 in December, as 2,300 more residents were employed and 400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, remained unchanged at 67.9 percent. The labor force was up 27,000 from the 3,809,100 January 2019 estimate, with 39,400 more residents employed and 12,300 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 January 2020 will be released on Tuesday March 17, 2020. The preliminary February 2020 and revised January 2020 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 27, 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.