BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 4.2% in May from the April rate of 3.9%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.
The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 2,900 jobs in May. Over-the-month job gains occurred in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; information; and construction. The April estimate was revised to a loss of 800 jobs.
From May 2016 to May 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 58,300 jobs. The May state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.3% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“During 2017, Massachusetts continues to experience large increases in the labor force,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said. “May’s labor-force participation rate of 66.7%, the highest rate since October 2008, allows for ongoing economic growth. As the pool of people actively searching for work increases, our workforce-development agencies remain focused on ensuring that the next generation of job seekers have access to next-generation job training.”
The labor force increased by 17,100 from 3,694,200 in April, as 4,900 more residents were employed and 12,200 more residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.8% in May 2016. There were 17,300 more unemployed people over the year compared to May 2016.
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 — increased two-tenths of a percentage point to 66.7% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has increased 1.7% compared to May 2016.
The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in information; construction; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.