BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% in October, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 4,800 jobs in October. Over the month, the private sector added 4,100 jobs as gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; other services; financial activities; manufacturing; construction; and information. The September estimate was revised to a gain of 10,300 jobs.
From October 2016 to October 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 69,000 jobs. The October unemployment rate was four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The low unemployment rate and job gains are indicators of the ongoing strength of the economy in Massachusetts. But not all communities and regions are feeling the benefits of this economy equally. Our workforce-development programs continue to prioritize closing skills gaps and connecting all citizens of the Commonwealth to prosperous career pathways,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said.
The labor force decreased by 13,400 from 3,669,500 in September, as 5,600 fewer residents were employed and 7,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased five-tenths of a percentage point from 3.2% in October 2016. There were 19,600 more unemployed residents over the year compared to October 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 — decreased three-tenths of a percentage point to 65.5% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has increased by 0.8% compared to October 2016.
The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in other services; construction; professional, scientific, and business services; financial activities; and education and health services.