Massachusetts unemployment rate remains low at 2.9%


BOSTON, MA – April 19, 2024 – The state’s March total unemployment rate was 2.9 percent, unchanged from the revised February estimate of 2.9 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 0.9 percentage points lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.6 percentage points.

The labor force increased by an estimated 8,300 from the revised estimate of 3,748,700 in February, with 11,300 residents more employed and 3,000 fewer 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 0.1 percentage point over-the-month, to 64.9 percent. Compared to March 2023, the labor force participation rate was down 0.3 percentage points.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 2,900 jobs in March. This follows February’s revised gain of 5,000 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services. Employment now stands at 3,740,500. Massachusetts gained 677,000 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

>From March 2023 to March 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 22,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services.

March 2024 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 2,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 21,700 were added.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 1,600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 8,200 were added.

Other Services gained 1,300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,800 were added.

Government gained 1,100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,000 were added.

Construction gained 900 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 2,800 were added.

Financial Activities lost 100 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 900 were added.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,200 were lost.

Information lost 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,700 were lost.

Manufacturing lost 600 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,300 were lost.

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services lost 3,000 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 7,800 were lost.

Labor Force Overview

The March estimates show 3,649,800 Massachusetts residents were employed and 107,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,757,000. The unemployment rate at 2.9 percent was unchanged from the revised February rate of 2.9 percent. Over-the-month, the March labor force increased by 8,300 from 3,748,700 in February, with 11,300 more residents employed and 3,000 fewer residents unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of the working age population employed and unemployed, increased by 0.1 percentage point to 64.9 percent. The labor force was up 5,300 from the March 2023 estimate of 3,751,700 following the annual revision, with 28,100 more employed residents, and 22,800 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.