Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and
Workforce Development


For Immediate Release: March 19, 2015
Contact: Ann Dufresne - 617-626-7121
Ann.Dufresne@state.ma.us
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February Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.9 Percent
 

BOSTON, MA -March 19, 2015 --- Today the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) released preliminary February 2015 estimates that show the Massachusetts total unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent from the January rate of 5.1 percent, a 0.2 of a percentage point decrease. Over the year, the unemployment rate fell by 1.1 percent from 6.0 percent in February 2014.

The share of working age residents employed or unemployed, also known as the labor participation rate, was 65.9, an increase of 0.3 of a percentage point since January. Compared with February 2014, the labor participation rate increased a full percentage point over the year.

February 2015 estimates show that 3,430,500 residents were employed and 177,300 were unemployed. Compared with February 2014, February 2015 has 34,400 fewer unemployed persons which is the largest annual decrease in the number of unemployed since October 2011.

Over the month, jobs were up 800 with a private sector loss of 800. Since February 2014, jobs grew by 58,100 with 46,300 private sector job gains. Education and Health Services and Professional, Scientific, and Business Services had the largest job gains over the year. All sector details are listed below.

BLS also revised its January job estimate to a 900 over the month job gain from the 2,600 gain previously reported for the month.

February 2015 Employment Overview

Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 2,600 (+0.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 15,000 (+2.9%) jobs.

Education and Health Services gained 1,100 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 16,300 (+2.2%) jobs.

Information added 200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 900 (+1.0%) jobs.

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

Manufacturing had no change (0.0%) in its jobs level over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 1,500 (-0.6%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 3,200 (-0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 3,300 (+0.6%) jobs.

Construction lost 900 (-0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has added 3,700 (+2.9%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 500 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 2,200 (+0.6%) jobs.

Other Services lost 300 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services jobs are up 2,900 (+2.2%) jobs.

Government added 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 11,800 (+2.6%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The February estimates show 3,430,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 177,300 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,607,700. The unemployment rate was 4.9 percent. The February labor force increased by 16,600 from 3,591,100 in January, as 21,100 more residents were employed and 4,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed or unemployed, was 65.9, an increase of 0.4 of a percentage point over the month. The labor force was 74,200 above the 3,533,500 February 2014 estimate, with 108,800 more residents employed and 34,400 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 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 February 2015 will be released on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. The preliminary March 2015 and revised February 2015 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, April 16, 2015. See the 2015 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates. 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

Report Unemployment Fraud by Calling the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s Fraud Hotline @ 1-800-354-9927
or visit: www.mass.gov/lwd/ui-fraud