September numbers: State unemployment rate increases to 5.2 percent

Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for September

BOSTON, MA – October 22, 2021 – The state’s September total unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point at 5.2 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 11,900 jobs in September. This follows last month’s revised gain of 3,400 jobs. The largest over the month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services and Other Services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 159,900 jobs.

From September 2020 to September 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 175,200 jobs. Gains occurred in all sectors led by Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; and Trade, Transportation and Utilities.

The September unemployment rate was 0.4 percentage point above the national rate of 4.8 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 11,300 from 3,709,500 in August, as 3,800 more residents were employed and 7,500 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 3.7 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 – was up two-tenths of a percentage point at 65.9 percent. Compared to September 2020, the labor force participation rate is up 1.2 percentage points.

September 2021 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 6,400 jobs (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 19,500 (+2.6%) jobs were added.

Other Services gained 5,300 (+4.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 7,500 (+6.6%) jobs were added.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 3,900 (+0.7%) over the month. Over the year, 29,900 (+5.7%) jobs were added.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 3,300 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 46,000 (+17.7%) jobs were added.

Financial Activities gained 1,100 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 3,300 (+1.5%) jobs were added.

Manufacturing gained 600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 8,600 jobs (+3.8%) jobs were added.

Information gained 200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 6,200 (+7.2%) jobs were added.

Construction lost 900 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 11,400 (+7.3%) jobs were added.

Professional and Business Services lost 900 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 34,300 (+6.0%) jobs were added.

Government lost 7,100 (-1.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 8,500 (+2.0%) jobs were added.

Labor Force Overview

The September estimates show 3,527,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 192,900 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,720,700. The unemployment rate was up two-tenths of a percentage point at 5.2 percent. Over the month, the September labor force was up by 11,300 from 3,709,500 in August, with 3,800 more residents employed and 7,500 more residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was up by 0.2 percentage point at 65.9 percent. The labor force was up 65,500 from the September 2020 estimate of 3,655,200, as 197,100 more residents were employed and 131,600 fewer residents were 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.

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 September 2021 will be released on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. The preliminary October 2021 and revised September 2021 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, November 19, 2021. See the 2021 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates.

Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.