For Immediate Release:
 October 20, 2016
Contact: Colleen Quinn 617-626-7121
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September Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.6 Percent
Massachusetts adds 5,100 jobs during the month

BOSTON, MA -OCTOBER 20, 2016 --- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in September from 3.9 percent in August, marking the lowest rate since June 2001. Preliminary estimates show the state gained 5,100 jobs over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.

At 3.6 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 1.2 percent over the year from 4.8 percent in September 2015, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There were 88,600 more employed residents over the year compared to September 2015, and 43,000 fewer unemployed residents.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 5.0 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"The rate has fallen dramatically in the last two months, 0.3 percent this month, and 0.2 percent month before. While these are preliminary estimates, this is very good news for the Commonwealth," Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ronald L. Walker II said. "Over the year, jobs are up 63,800."

The state added fewer jobs over the month in August than the Bureau of Labor Statistics originally estimated, gaining 3,600 jobs compared to the previously published 5,900 job gain estimate. Year-to-date, December 2015 to September 2016, Massachusetts has added 63,800 jobs.

The sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains were Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and Manufacturing.

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

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 65.0 percent. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.3 of a percentage point compared to September 2015.

September 2016 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 6,600 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 26,600 (+3.5%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 2,500 (+0.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 14,100 (+4.0%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing gained 1,700 (+0.7%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 16,200 (+3.0%) jobs.

Other Services lost 2,100 (-1.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 1,200 (-0.9%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 1,800 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 2,500 (+0.4%) jobs.

Construction lost 1,400 (-0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 10,300 (+7.4%) jobs.

Information lost 900 (-1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 700 (-0.8%) jobs.

Financial Activities lost 600 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 3,100 (+1.4%) jobs.

Government added 1,700 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 5,700 (+1.3%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The September estimates show 3,481,800 Massachusetts residents were employed and 129,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,610,900. The unemployment rate was 3.6 percent. The September labor force increased by 300 from 3,610,600 in August, as 13,000 more residents were employed and 12,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was 65.0 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 September 2016 will be released on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. The preliminary October 2016 and revised September 2016 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, November 17, 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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