For Immediate Release:
 December 15, 2016
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
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November Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.9 Percent
Massachusetts adds 5,800 jobs in November

BOSTON, MA -DECEMBER 15, 2016 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 2.9 percent in November, marking the fifth consecutive month the rate has declined, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

The last time the state's unemployment rate was at 2.9 percent was in January 2001. The unemployment rate in October was 3.3 percent.

In November, preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 5,800 jobs over the month. . BLS slightly revised the October job estimates, reporting the state loss 5,400 jobs as opposed to the previously reported 5,500 job loss estimate. Year-to-date, December 2015 to November 2016, Massachusetts has added 67,200 jobs.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate has remained lower than the national rate since April 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the national rate at 4.6 percent in November.

At 2.9 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 2.0 percent over the year from 4.9 percent in November 2015. There were 68,100 fewer unemployed residents and 108,400 more employed residents over the year compared to November 2015.

"We are very pleased to see the unemployment rate consistently go down month after month," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. "Not only is the unemployment rate declining, but we have continued job growth in key sectors that drive the Massachusetts economy."

In November, over the month job gains occurred in the Financial Activities; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Construction; Information; Other Services; Education and Health Services; and Local Government 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 64.7 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.1 of a percentage point compared to November 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 332,700 more residents employed and 198,700 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force increased by 134,100.

November 2016 Employment Overview

Financial Activities added 2,400 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 3,400 (+1.5%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 1,700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 18,500 (+3.4%) jobs.

Construction added 1,000 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 6,400 (+4.5%) jobs.

Information gained 400 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 600 (+0.7%) jobs.

Other Services added 300 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 600 (-0.4%) jobs.

Education and Health Services added 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 23,700 (+3.1%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,200 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 1,300 (+0.2%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 1,700 (-0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 7,300 (+2.1%) jobs.

Manufacturing lost 100 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 1,000 (+0.4%) jobs.

Government added 3,800 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 8,500 (+1.9%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The November estimates show 3,497,100 Massachusetts residents were employed and 105,400 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,602,500. The unemployment rate was 2.9 percent. The November labor force decreased by 6,300 from 3,608,800 in October, as 5,600 more residents were employed and 11,900 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 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 November 2016 will be released on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. The preliminary December 2016 and revised November 2016 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, January 19, 2017. 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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