For Immediate Release:
 January 19, 2017
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
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December Unemployment Rate Drops to 2.8 Percent
Massachusetts adds 6,600 jobs in December

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 19, 2017 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 2.8 percent in December, marking the sixth 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 2.8 percent was in December 2000.

In December, preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 6,600 jobs over the month. The November job gain had an upward revision, with the state adding 7,000 jobs compared to the previously published 5,800 job gain estimate.

Over the year Massachusetts has added 75,000 jobs.

At 2.8 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 2.1 percent over the year from 4.9 percent in December 2015. There were 73,300 fewer unemployed residents and 112,900 more employed residents over the year compared to December 2015.

"For the past six months, the unemployment has continued to drop, and the labor force participation rate has held steady over the year, which is very good news for the state,"Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said. "We are also pleased to see the state continues to add jobs in key sectors, such as Education and Health Services, Professional, Scientific and Business Services, Information, and Construction."

In December, over the month job gains occurred in the Education and Health Services; Construction; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; Information; Leisure and Hospitality; Financial Activities; Other Services; and Manufacturing 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. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.2 of a percentage point compared to December 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.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate has remained lower than the national rate since April 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the December national rate at 4.7 percent.

Since the statewide rate peaked at 8.8 percent in September 2009, there are now 335,600 more Massachusetts residents employed and 202,700 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force increased by 133,000.

December 2016 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services added 4,600 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 26,800 (+3.5%) jobs.

Construction gained 3,700 (+2.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 8,800 (+6.1%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 1,200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 18,800 (+3.5%) jobs.

Information gained 1,000 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 700 (+0.8%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 900 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 8,900 (+2.5%) jobs.

Financial Activities added 800 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 4,400 (+2.0%) jobs.

Other Services added 800 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 100 (-0.1%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 900 (+0.4%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,000 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 3,000 (+0.5%) jobs.

Government lost 4,700 (-1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 2,800 (+0.6%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The December estimates show 3,500,000 Massachusetts residents were employed and 101,300 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,601,400. The unemployment rate was 2.8 percent. The December labor force decreased by 1,100 from 3,602,500 in November, as 2,800 more residents were employed and 4,100 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 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 2016 will be released on Tuesday, January 24, 2017. The preliminary January 2017 and revised monthly 2016 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, March 9, 2017. See the 2017 Media Advisory annual schedule for a 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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