Press Release

Press Release  Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for May 2023

For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Department of Economic Research

Media Contact   for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for May 2023

Matthew Kitsos, Director of Communications

May 2023 Unemployment Rate 2.8%

Boston, MAJune 16, 2023The state’s May total unemployment rate was 2.8 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from the revised April estimate of 3.1 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 5,700 jobs in May. This follows April’s revised gain of 5,900 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Manufacturing. Employment now stands at 3,765,700. Massachusetts gained 704,100 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From May 2022 to May 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 105,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in Education and Health Services, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services, and Government.

The state’s May unemployment rate of 2.8 percent was 0.9 percentage point below the national rate of 3.7 percent reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 3,800 from the revised estimate of 3,732,000 in April, as 5,400 more residents were employed, and 9,200 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.9 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 – dropped by 0.1 percentage point to 64.7 percent over-the-month. Compared to May 2022, the labor force participation rate was down 0.7 percentage points.

May 2023 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 2,700 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 31,800 were added.

Government gained 1,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 12,300 were added.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 1,300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 8,000 were added.

Manufacturing gained 700 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 700 were added.

Construction gained 600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 7,000 were added.

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services gained 400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 22,500 were added.

Other Services gained 400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,500 were added.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 11,200 were added.

Financial Activities lost 600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 6,200 were added.

Information lost 800 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 800 were added.

Labor Force Overview

The May estimates show 3,622,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 105,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,728,200. The unemployment rate at 2.8 percent was down 0.3 percentage points from the revised April rate of 3.1 percent. Over-the-month, the May labor force declined by 3,800 from 3,732,000 in April, with 5,400 more residents employed and 9,200 fewer residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, dropped 0.1 percentage point over-the-month at 64.7 percent. The labor force was down 30,800 from the May 2022 estimate of 3,759,000, with 3,900 more employed residents, and 34,700 fewer unemployed residents.

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.

For further information on seasonal adjustment methodology, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website

The preliminary June 2023 and revised May 2023 unemployment rate, labor force, and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, July 21, 2023. See the 2023 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.

Detailed labor market information is available at


Media Contact   for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for May 2023

  • Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development  

    The mission of EOLWD is to create, operate and oversee effective and innovative statewide services to: protect worker rights, health, safety, wages and working conditions; insure against job-related injury; provide individuals and families with economic stability following job loss or injury and illness; level the playing field for responsible employers; develop a pipeline of skilled workers for current, emerging and future employers; and, maintain labor harmony between employees, employers, and labor unions.
  • Department of Economic Research  

    The Department of Economic Research (formerly the Labor Market Information Division) produces, analyzes, and distributes various data, labor market reports, and other resources related to employment, unemployment, occupations, industries, and other components of the Massachusetts labor market.
  • Help Us Improve  with your feedback

    Please do not include personal or contact information.