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Press Release Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for January 2021

For immediate release:
3/12/2021
  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development

Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for January 2021

Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development

The state’s January total unemployment rate is down 0.6 percentage points at 7.8 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 35,500 jobs in January. This follows last month’s revised loss of 8,700 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 26,300 jobs as gains occurred across all sectors, led by Education and Health Services and Professional, Scientific, and Business Services.

From January 2020 to January 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 334,200 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors with the exception of Mining and Logging, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality, with 32.8% of jobs lost; Other Services, with 18.7% of jobs lost; and Education and Health Services, with 8.7% of jobs lost.

The January unemployment rate was 1.5 percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.3 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 3,600 from 3,753,100 in December, as 23,300 more residents were employed and 19,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up by five 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 – remained unchanged at 66.5 percent. Compared to January 2020, the labor force participation rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point.

Annual year-end revisions show the unemployment rates were lower than the previously published estimates for May 2020 through September 2020. After the revisions, the highest unemployment rate during the COVID19 pandemic occurred in April 2020 at 16.4 percent which was 1.3 percentage points lower than the previously published highest rate of 17.7 percent in June 2020.

January 2021 Employment Overview

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 4,600 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 25,000 (-4.1%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 3,100 (0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 27,700 (-4.8%) jobs.

Construction added 1,800 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has lost 1,600 (-1.0%) jobs.

Manufacturing lost 600 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost -13,500 (-5.6%) jobs.

Financial Activities gained 2,100 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities lost 4,600 (-2.1%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 1,900 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality lost 125,400 (-32.8%) jobs.

Education and Health Services gained 10,000 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services lost 71,900 (-8.7%) jobs.

Information gained 1,900 (+2.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 6,500 (-6.9%) jobs.

Other Services gained 1,400 jobs OTM (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down -26,500 (-18.7%) jobs.

Government gained 9,200 (2.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 31,600 (-6.9%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The January estimates show 3,461,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 294,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,756,700. The unemployment rate dropped six-tenths of a percentage point over the month. The January labor force increased by 3,600 from 3,753,100 in December, as 23,300 more residents were employed and 19,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of the working-age population employed and unemployed, remained unchanged at 66.5 percent. The labor force was down 7,100 from the 3,763,800 January 2020 estimate, with 195,200 fewer residents employed and 188,100 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.

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.

Local area unemployment statistics for January 2021 will be released on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The preliminary February 2021 and revised January 2021 unemployment rate, labor force, and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 26, 2021. See the 2021 Media Advisory for a complete list of release dates.

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

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for January 2021

Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development  

EOLWD manages the Commonwealth’s workforce development and labor departments to ensure that workers, employers, and the unemployed have the tools and training needed to succeed in the Massachusetts economy.
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