- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Massachusetts Unemployment and Job Estimates for October 2020
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications - Exec. Office of Labor and Workforce Development
BOSTON — The state’s October total unemployment rate is down 2.4 percentage points at 7.4 percent following a revision to the September rate at 9.8 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 11,400 jobs in October. This follows last month’s revised gain of 36,400 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 15,600 jobs as gains occurred in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Construction; Manufacturing; Financial Activities; and Other Services. Government lost jobs over the month.
From October 2019 to October 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 340,200 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Construction; and Education and Health Services.
The October unemployment rate was 0.5 percentage points above the national rate of 6.9 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The labor force decreased by 155,600 from 3,764,000 in September, as 55,200 fewer residents were employed and 100,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 4.6 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 to 63.7 percent. Compared to October 2019, the labor force participation rate is down by 4.3 percentage points.
October 2020 Employment Overview
Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 10,300 (+2.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 42,200 (-7.3%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 3,700 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 23,800 (-3.9%) jobs.
Construction added 2,000 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has lost 15,800 (-9.8%) jobs.
Manufacturing gained 1,900 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 8,800 (-3.6%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 1,800 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities lost 600 (-0.3%) jobs.
Other Services gained 1,100 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 25,800 (-18.6%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 4,400 (-0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services lost 62,200 (-7.6%) jobs.
Information lost 700 (-0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 3,400 (-3.6%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality lost 131,500 (-34.9%) jobs.
Government lost 4,200 (-1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 25,900 (-5.7%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The October estimates show 3,339,800 Massachusetts residents were employed and 268,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,608,300. The unemployment rate at 7.4 percent was down by 2.4 percentage points from the revised September estimate of 9.8 percent. The October labor force decreased by 155,600 from 3,764,000 in September, as 55,200 fewer residents were employed, and 100,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was down 2.8 percentage points over the month at 63.7 percent. Over the year, the labor force was down 226,500 from the 3,834,900 October 2019 estimate, with 388,400 fewer residents employed and 161,900 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. Seasonal factors, which were suspended beginning with the March estimates, have been resumed and were applied starting with the June estimates.
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 October 2020 will be released on Tuesday, November 24, 2020. The preliminary November 2020 and revised October 2020 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, December 18, 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.