Massachusetts low unemployment rate up a tiny bit: 2.8 percent

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Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for October 2023

BOSTON, MA – November 17, 2023The state’s October total unemployment rate was 2.8 percent, up 0.2 percentage points from the revised September estimate of 2.6 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 800 jobs in October. This follows September’s revised loss of 2,600 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services, Other Services, and Construction. Employment now stands at 3,782,700. Massachusetts gained 721,100 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From October 2022 to October 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 77,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in Education and Health Services, Professional, Scientific, and Business Services, and Construction.

The state’s October unemployment rate of 2.8 percent was 1.1 percentage points lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent reported by BLS.

The labor force grew by an estimated 5,600 from the revised estimate of 3,716,000 in September, as 500 fewer residents were employed, and 6,200 more residents were unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.0 percentage point.

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 by 0.1 percentage point at 64.5 percent over-the-month. Compared to October 2022, the labor force participation rate was down 0.3 percentage points.

October 2023 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 3,700 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 32,900 were added.

Construction gained 1,100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 9,500 were added.

Other Services gained 1,100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,500 were added.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 9,000 were added.

Financial Activities gained 300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,800 were added.

Manufacturing gained 100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,000 were lost.

Information lost 200 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 2,200 were lost.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,200 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 9,300 were added.

Government lost 2,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,800 were added.

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 3,800 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 11,400 were added.

Labor Force Overview

The October estimates show 3,618,900 Massachusetts residents were employed and 102,700 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,721,600. The unemployment rate at 2.8 percent was up 0.2 percentage points from the revised September rate of 2.6 percent. Over-the-month, the October labor force increased by 5,600 from 3,716,000 in September, with 500 fewer residents employed and 6,200 more residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of the working age population employed and unemployed, increased by 0.1 percentage point over-the-month at 64.5 percent. The labor force was down 8,200 from the October 2022 estimate of 3,729,800, with 30,300 more employed residents, and 38,500 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.