Massachusetts Unemployment Creeps Down in January
BOSTON — The state’s January total unemployment rate was 3.6%, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised December estimate of 3.7%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 19,600 jobs in January. This follows December’s revised gain of 3,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and leisure and hospitality. Employment now stands at 3,743,500. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 681,900 jobs.
From January 2022 to January 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 117,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; and education and health services.
The January unemployment rate of 3.6% was two-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 3.4% reported by BLS.
The labor force increased by an estimated 3,900 from 3,726,400 in December, with 8,100 more residents employed and 4,200 fewer residents unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.4%.
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 by 0.1% to 64.8% over-the-month. Compared to January 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down five-tenths of a percentage point.