DUAletterhead

For Immediate Release:
 April 14, 2016
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
Colleen.Quinn@state.ma.us
Follow us on Twitter @MassLWD

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.4 percent in March
State adds 6,900 jobs
 

BOSTON, MA -APRIL 14, 2016 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in March from the February rate of 4.5 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts continues to gain jobs, with 6,900 added in March.

The March gain follows upward revisions for February, with total job gains of 13,900. Preliminary February estimates indicated the state added 13,300 jobs over the month. Massachusetts has added 22,000 jobs year-to-date from December 2015 to March 2016.

In March, over the month job gains occurred in the Construction; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Other Services; Information; Education and Health Services and Government sectors.

"We are very pleased to see the unemployment rate continues to drop and the labor force is increasing," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker said. "We see continued job growth in many of the state's strongest sectors, including Health Services and Education, and Professional, Scientific and Business Services."

The March state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 5.0 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The March estimates show 3,425,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 155,800 were unemployed for a total labor force of 3,581,500. The labor force increased 11,500 from 3,570,000 in February, as 14,600 more residents were employed and 3,200 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.7 of a percentage point from 5.1 percent in March 2015. There were 25,800 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to March 2015.

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 of a percentage point to 64.7 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has decreased 0.7 of a percentage point compared to March 2015.

Over the year, the largest private sector percentage job gains were in Construction; Other Services; Education and Health Services; and Professional, Scientific and Business Services.

March 2016 Employment Overview

Construction added 2,500 (+1.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 16,000 (+11.9%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 1,500 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 5,700 (+1.0%) jobs.

Other Services added 1,300 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 3,200 (+2.4%) jobs.

Information gained 1,100 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 1,600 (+1.8%) jobs.

Education and Health Services added 1,000 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 16,400 (+2.2%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality had no change in its jobs level (0.0%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 3,100 (+0.9%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 1,400 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 10,200 (+1.9%) jobs.

Financial Activities lost 1,100 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 3,000 (+1.4%) jobs.

Manufacturing lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 600 (-0.2%) jobs.

Government added 2,100 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 2,700 (+0.6%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The March estimates show 3,425,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 155,800 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,581,500. The unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. The March labor force increased by 11,500 from 3,570,000 in February, as 14,600 more residents were employed and 3,200 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 64.7 percent. The labor force was 5,300 below the 3,586,800 March 2015 estimate, with 25,800 fewer residents unemployed and 20,500 more residents employed.

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.
Beginning with the March 2011 estimates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has assumed responsibility for the production of the CES State and sub-state jobs estimates. BLS has also implemented methodological changes which may increase the month to month variability of the estimates. See Changes to procedures for producing Current Employment Statistics (CES) State estimates.

Local area unemployment statistics for March 2016 will be released on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. The preliminary April 2016 and revised March 2016 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, May 19, 2016. See the 2016 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete list of release dates.

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

Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Employment
Statewide Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Statewide Not Seasonally Adjusted Employment
Labor Force and Unemployment Data Current Employment Statistics Data

Report Unemployment Fraud by Calling the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s Fraud Hotline @ 1-800-354-9927
or visit: www.mass.gov/lwd/ui-fraud