- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for May.
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — Additional economic data visualizations available here
The state’s May total unemployment rate is up one-tenth of a percentage point at 16.3 percent following a revision to the April rate of 16.2 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 58,600 jobs in May. This follows last month’s revised loss of 646,700 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 65,700 jobs as gains occurred in Construction; Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Other Services; Manufacturing; and Financial Activities. Information and Government lost jobs over the month.
From May 2019 to May 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 605,000 jobs.
Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Construction; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities.
The May unemployment rate was three percentage point above the national rate of 13.3 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The labor force increased by 123,200 from 3,406,900 in April, as 100,000 more residents were employed and 23,200 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 13.4 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 – increased to 62.4 percent. Compared to May 2019, the labor force participation rate is down by 5.1 percentage points.
May 2020 Employment Overview
Construction added 17,400 (+16.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has lost 39,200 (-24.2%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality gained 12,400 (+9.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality lost 225,200 (-59.9%) jobs.
Education and Health Services added 11,100 (+1.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services lost 83,100 (-10.2%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific, and Business Services gained 8,000 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 37,900 (-6.3%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 6,700 (+1.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 113,200 (-19.6%) jobs.
Other Services gained 6,600 (+7.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down -47,100 (-33.8%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 5,100 (+2.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 20,200 (-8.3%) jobs.
Financial Activities gained 1,400 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities lost 2,500 (-1.1%) jobs.
Information lost 300 (-3.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 1,400 (-1.5%) jobs.
Government lost 7,100 (-1.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 34,900 (-7.6%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The May estimates show 2,953,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 576,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,530,100. The unemployment rate at 16.3 percent was up by one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised April estimate of 16.2 percent. The May labor force increased by 123,200 from 3,406,900 in April, as 100,000 more residents were employed and 23,200 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was up at 62.4 percent. The labor force was down 272,200 from the 3,802,200 May 2019 estimate, with 736,200 fewer residents employed and 464,000 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. The Bureau of Labor Statistics implemented the Current Population Survey level-shift outliers into the estimation models to incorporate the state claims and CES inputs starting with the revised March estimates. These level shifts preserved movements in published estimates that the models otherwise would have discounted as sampling error.
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 May 2020 will be released on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The preliminary June 2020 and revised May 2020 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, July 17, 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.