- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for March
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 March, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 4,700 jobs in March. Over the month, the private sector added 5,600 jobs as gains occurred in Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Construction; Manufacturing; and Information. The jobs level remained unchanged in Financial Activities.
From March 2017 to March 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 41,800 jobs.
The March 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.
“For the past six months, the Commonwealth’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 3.5 percent. Yet during that period of low unemployment, we are still seeing expansions in the labor force, with over 25,000 more residents employed and employers adding more than 20,000 jobs, pointing to the overall strength of the Massachusetts workforce.” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force increased by 14,200 from 3,669,500 in February, as 13,000 more residents were employed and 1,200 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 March 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 over the month two-tenths of a percentage point at 65.6 percent. Compared to March 2017, the labor force participation rate remained unchanged at 65.6 percent.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Leisure and Hospitality; and Manufacturing.
March 2018 Employment Overview
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 6,600 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 16,400 (+2.9%) jobs.
Construction gained 1,200 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 11,500 (+7.7%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 600 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 2,500 (+1.0%) jobs.
Information gained 500 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information jobs level remained unchanged (0.0%).
Financial Activities jobs level remained unchanged over the month (0.0%). Over the year, Financial Activities added 100 (0.0%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 1,700 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 1,800 (+0.2%) jobs.
Other Services lost 1,000 (-0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 900 (+0.7%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 8,800 (+2.4%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 200 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 1,900 (+0.3%) jobs.
Government lost 900 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 2,100 (-0.5%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The March estimates show 3,554,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 128,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,683,700. The unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent for the sixth consecutive month. The March labor force increased by 14,200 from 3,669,500 in February, as 13,000 more residents were employed and 1,200 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, increased two-tenths of a percentage point to 65.6 percent. The labor force was up 27,600 from the 3,656,100 March 2017 estimate, with 41,000 more residents employed and 13,300 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 March 2018 will be released on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. The preliminary April 2018 and revised March 2018 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, May 18, 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.