- Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Media Contact for Unemployment Rate At 3.5 Percent – Massachusetts Loses 500 Jobs In December
Charles Pearce, Director of Communications, Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development
Boston, MA — BOSTON, MA - The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in December, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 300 jobs in December.Over the month, the private sector lost 200 jobs; gains occurred in Construction; Manufacturing; Leisure and Hospitality; and Financial Activities. The November estimate was revised to a gain of 7,800 jobs.
From December 2016 to December 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 63,000 jobs.
The December 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.
"Throughout 2017, the Commonwealth continued to experience steady economic growth, adding 63,000 jobs, over 64,000 additional residents participating in the labor force, and closing out the year with a low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. While much of these job gains continue to be in sectors like Professional, Business, and Scientific Services, Manufacturing posted a preliminary 2,800 over the year job gain, the first over the year over job gain in that sector in 18 years," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force decreased by 500 from 3,647,500 in November, as 1,900 more residents were employed and 2,500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.1 percent in December 2016. There were 17,900 more unemployed residents over the year compared to December 2016.
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 - decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 65.3 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has increased by 0.7 percentage point compared to December 2016.
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Construction; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Other Services; and Leisure and Hospitality.
December 2017 Employment Overview
Construction gained 1,600 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 8,500 (+5.7%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 800 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing added 2,800 (+1.1%) jobs.
Leisure and Hospitality gained 500 jobs (+0.1%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 9,600 (+2.6%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 400 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 2,700 (+1.2%) jobs.
Other Services lost 200 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 3,900 (+2.8%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 500 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 5,500 (+1.0%) jobs.
Information lost 700 (-0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 2,100 (-2.3%) jobs.
Education and Health Services lost 1,000 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 14,000 (+1.8%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 1,000 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 16,400 (+2.9%) jobs.
Government lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government added 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview The December estimates show 3,518,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 128,000 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,646,900. The unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5 percent over the month. The December labor force decreased by 500 from 3,647,500 in November, as 1,900 more residents were employed and 2,500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.3 percent. The labor force was up 63,400 from the 3,583,500 December 2016 estimate, with 45,500 more residents employed and 17,900 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.
NOTES: 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 December 2017 will be released on Tuesday, January 23, 2018. The preliminary January 2018 and revised monthly 2016 and 2017 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, March 8, 2018. See the 2018 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.