For Immediate Release:
 November 17, 2016
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
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October Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.3 Percent
Year-to-date, Massachusetts has added 61,300 jobs

BOSTON, MA -NOVEMBER 17, 2016 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 3.3 percent in October, marking the fourth consecutive month the rate went down, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The last time the state's unemployment rate hit 3.3 percent was in April 2001. The unemployment rate in September was 3.6 percent.

In October, preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts lost 5,500 jobs over the month. However, the September job gains were higher than originally reported, with the state gaining 8,100 jobs compared to the previously published 5,100 job gain estimate. Year-to-date, December 2015 to October 2016, Massachusetts has added 61,300 jobs.

At 3.3 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 1.5 percent over the year from 4.8 percent in October 2015. There are 55,400 fewer unemployed residents and 100,700 more employed residents over the year compared to October 2015.

"We are pleased to see the state's unemployment rate continues to drop month after month," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. "But we are mindful of the residents who have not been able to find a job in the past year. We are doing all we can to reengage those individuals in this thriving job market."

Massachusetts' unemployment rate has consistently remained lower than the national rate of 4.9 percent reported earlier this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In October, over the month job gains occurred in the Professional, Scientific and Business Services, Manufacturing, and Other Services sectors.

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 -- is 64.9 percent, down 0.1 of a percentage point over the month. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.3 of a percentage point compared to October 2015.

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

Since the rate peaked at 8.8 percent in September 2009, there are now 327,100 more residents employed and 186,800 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force increased by 140,400.

October 2016 Employment Overview

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 1,700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 18,100 (+3.4%) jobs.

Other Services added 1,400 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 1,000 (-0.7%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 1,100 (+0.4%) jobs.

Education and Health Services lost 4,100 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 22,800 (+3.0%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,400 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 3,600 (+0.6%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,600 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 8,500 (+2.4%) jobs.

Financial Activities lost 900 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 2,700 (+1.2%) jobs.

Information lost 300 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 300 (+0.3%) jobs.

Construction lost 100 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 10,200 (+7.3%) jobs.

Government added 700 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 5,200 (+1.2%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The October estimates show 3,491,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 117,300 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,608,800. The unemployment rate was 3.3 percent. The October labor force decreased by 2,300 from 3,611,100 in September, as 9,500 more residents were employed and 11,800 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 64.9 percent.

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 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 October 2016 will be released on Tuesday, November 22, 2016. The preliminary November 2016 and revised October 2016 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, December 15, 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

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