DUAletterhead

For Immediate Release:
 January 21, 2016
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
Colleen.Quinn@state.ma.us
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Massachusetts Gained 7,100 Jobs in December
Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.7 percent
 

BOSTON, MA --- JANUARY 21, 2016 --- The state's total unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent in December, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.

The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts continues to gain jobs, with 7,100 added in December. Over the month job gains occurred in the Education and Health Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Information; Other Services; Construction; Manufacturing; and Financial Activities sectors.

Over the year Massachusetts has added 73,800 jobs.

"The Commonwealth's strong job gains in 2015 reflect the strength and diversity of our economy. The preliminary over the year job gain estimates indicate the strongest over the year job gains since 2000," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said.

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

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revised preliminary job estimates for November that originally indicated Massachusetts gained 5,900 jobs. BLS revised estimates for November show the state added 4,900 jobs.

The December preliminary estimates show 3,390,500 Massachusetts residents were employed during the month and 168,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,559,000.

The labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,557,100 in November, as 600 fewer residents were employed and 2,500 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.6 percent from 5.3 percent in December 2014. There were 22,900 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to December 2014.

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 -- remained at 64.5 percent over the month. The labor force participation rate over the year has decreased 1.1 of a percentage point compared to December 2014.

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

December 2015 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 4,200 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 22,400 (+3.0%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 1,700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 23,000 (+4.4%) jobs.

Information gained 1,300 (+1.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 1,100 (+1.3%) jobs.

Other Services added 1,200 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 3,500 (+2.6%) jobs.

Construction gained 800 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 9,500 (+7.4%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 600 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing added 1,700 (+0.7 %) jobs.

Financial Activities gained 200 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 3,600 (+1.7%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,900 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 5,900 (-1.0%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 900 jobs (-0.3%) over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 8,200 (+2.4%) jobs.

Government added 1,000 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 6,800 (+1.5%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The December estimates show 3,390,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 168,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,559,000. The unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. The December labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,557,100 in November, as 600 fewer residents were employed and 2,500 more residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 64.5 percent. The labor force was 27,600 below the 3,586,600 December 2014 estimate, with 4,700 fewer residents employed and 22,900 fewer residents unemployed.

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 December 2015 will be released on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The preliminary January 2016 and revised monthly 2015 unemployment rate, labor force and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, March 10, 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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