For Immediate Release:
 June 18, 2015
Contact: Colleen Quinn - 617-626-7121
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Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.6 Percent in May
Massachusetts Adds 7,400 Jobs

BOSTON, MA -JUNE 18, 2015 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in May, a 0.1 percentage point decrease from the previous month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.

The unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in the state since December 2007.

The new preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts gained 7,400 jobs in May, marking the ninth consecutive month of jobs gains.

Over the year, the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 1.2 percent from 5.8 percent in May 2014. The unemployment rate in Massachusetts peaked in September 2009 at 8.8 percent.

The May state unemployment rate is 0.9 of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 5.5 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised upward its April job figure, reporting the state gained 11,200 jobs, instead of 10,100 which the agency reported last month.

"We have had solid job growth in the last three months, with approximately 30,000 jobs added in the state," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II, said. "As more jobs are created, more people are coming back into the labor market."

Over the month, jobs were up 7,400 with a private sector gain of 7,100. Since May 2014, jobs grew by 70,600 with 59,300 private sector job gains.

Sectors that gained jobs over the month include Construction, which added 3,500 jobs; Retail Trade added 1,500 jobs and Wholesale Trade added 1,500 jobs over the month, while Transportation and Warehousing lost 500 jobs. Manufacturing gained 600 jobs and Financial Activities gained 700 jobs.

The state's labor 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 percentage point to 66.4.

The May labor participation rate is the highest since April 2010, and this is the fourth consecutive month there was an increase in the participation rate. Compared to May 2014, the labor participation rate increased 1.1 percent over the year.

May 2015 estimates show that 3,471,500 residents were employed and 168,700 were unemployed. There were 36,800 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to May 2014.

Education and Health Services and Professional, Scientific, and Business Services had the largest job gains over the year. All sector details are listed below.

May 2015 Employment Overview

Construction added 3,500 (+2.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 4,700 (+3.7%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 2,500 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 3,100 (+0.6%) jobs.

Financial Activities added 700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities added 2,900 (+1.4%) jobs.

Manufacturing gained 600 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing jobs are down 200 (-0.1%) jobs.

Education and Health Services added 500 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 19,800 (+2.7%) jobs.

Other Services gained 300 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services jobs are up 3,000 (+2.3%) jobs.

Information lost 200 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 1,000 (+1.2%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 7,000 (+2.1%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 400 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 18,200 (+3.5%) jobs.

Government added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 11,300 (+2.5%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The May estimates show 3,471,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 168,700 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,640,100. The unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. The May labor force increased by 5,800 from 3,634,300 in April, as 6,600 more residents were employed and 700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 66.4, an increase of 0.1 of a percentage point over the month. The labor force was 90,000 above the 3,550,100 May 2014 estimate, with 126,900 more residents employed and 36,800 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.

The labor force is sum of number of employed residents and those unemployed, that is residents not working but actively seeking work in the last four weeks. Estimates may not add 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 May 2015 will be released on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The preliminary June 2015 and revised May 2015 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, July 16, 2015. See the 2015 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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