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Massachusetts Unemployment Creeps Up in October

BOSTON — The state’s October total unemployment rate was 3.5%, up one-tenth of a percentage point over-the-month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 9,800 jobs in October. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 22,900 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in financial activities, professional and business services, and government. Employment now stands at 3,710,600. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts gained 659,600 jobs.

From October 2021 to October 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 141,300 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

The October unemployment rate of 3.5% was two-tenths of a percentage point below the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 3,800 from 3,749,600 in September, as 6,200 fewer residents were employed, and 2,300 more residents were unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.5 percentage points.

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 — dropped by 0.% to 65.5% over-the-month. Compared to October 2021, the labor-force participation rate was down two-tenths of a percentage point.

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