Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for May 2024

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Unemployment remains below the national rate; labor force participation rate increases to 65.3%

BOSTON, MA – June 21, 2024The state’s May total unemployment rate was 3.0 percent, a 0.1 percentage point increase from the revised April estimate of 2.9 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 1.0 percentage points lower than the national rate of 4.0 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.3 percentage points.

The labor force increased by an estimated 13,600 from the revised estimate of 3,768,100 in April, with 7,500 residents more employed and 6,000 more residents unemployed over-the-month. 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 0.2 percentage points over-the-month, to 65.3 percent. Compared to May 2023, the labor force participation rate also increased 0.2 percentage points over-the-year.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 4,200 jobs in May. This follows April’s revised loss of 3,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Leisure and Hospitality, Education and Health Services, and Construction. Employment now stands at 3,733,900. Massachusetts gained 670,400 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From May 2023 to May 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 21,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Construction.

May 2024 Employment Overview

Leisure and Hospitality gained 2,900 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 9,500 were added.

Education and Health Services gained 2,500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 18,100 were added.

Construction gained 1,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 5,500 were added.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 900 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 2,100 were lost.

Other Services gained 300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,000 were added.

Financial Activities lost 400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 300 were lost.

Information lost 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,300 were lost.

Government lost 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,100 were added.

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 700 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 7,000 were lost.

Manufacturing lost 1,600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 5,100 were lost.

Labor Force Overview

The May estimates show 3,667,400 Massachusetts residents were employed and 115,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,782,700. The unemployment rate at 3.0 percent was 0.1 percentage points higher than the revised April rate of 2.9 percent. Over-the-month, the May labor force increased by 13,600 from 3,769,100 in April, with 7,500 more residents employed and 6,000 more residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of the working age population employed and unemployed, increased by 0.2 percentage points to 65.3 percent. The labor force was up 29,300 from the May 2023 estimate of 3,753,400 following the annual revision, with 39,300 more employed residents, and 10,100 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.

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