- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for May
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 May, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 6,200 jobs in May. Over the month, the private sector added 5,900 jobs as gains occurred in Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Education and Health Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Information; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Financial Activities; and Manufacturing.
From May 2017 to May 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 56,100 jobs.
The May unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The Massachusetts unemployment rate held at 3.5% for the eighth consecutive month. In addition, estimates indicate the Commonwealth gained 56,100 jobs over the year and the labor force grew by 71,600, signs of the steady strength of the economy in the Commonwealth,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force increased by 27,500 from 3,704,700 in April, as 26,500 more residents were employed and 1,000 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percentage point from 3.8 percent in May 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 four-tenths of a percentage point at 66.4 percent. Compared to May 2017, the labor force participation rate is up eight-tenths of a percentage point.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Leisure and Hospitality.
May 2018 Employment Overview
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 3,000 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 23,200 (+4.1%) jobs.
Education and Health Services gained 3,000 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 8,500 (+1.1%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality added 500 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 9,000 (+2.5%) jobs.
Information gained 300 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 1,500 jobs (-1.6%).
Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 200 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 2,100 (+0.4%) jobs.
Financial Activities gained 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 2,100 (+0.9%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 3,000 (+1.2%) jobs.
Other Services lost 1,200 (-0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 2,000 (+1.5%) jobs.
Construction lost 300 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 8,800 (+5.9%) jobs.
Government added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 1,200 (-0.3%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The May estimates show 3,601,100 Massachusetts residents were employed and 131,000 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,732,200. The unemployment rate remained at 3.5 percent for the eighth consecutive month. The May labor force increased by 27,500 from 3,704,700 in April, as 26,500 more residents were employed and 1,000 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, increased four-tenths of a percentage point to 66.4 percent. The labor force was up 71,600 from the 3,660,600 May 2017 estimate, with 81,000 more residents employed and 9,400 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 May 2018 will be released on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. The preliminary June 2018 and revised May 2018 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, July 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.