Daily News

Massachusetts Unemployment Down Slightly in February

BOSTON — The state’s February total unemployment rate was 2.9%, down 0.1% from the revised January estimate of 3.0%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 1 percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.9% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.7%.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 1,700 from the revised estimate of 3,750,200 in January, with 2,500 residents more employed and 4,200 fewer residents unemployed over the month. 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 0.1% over the month to 64.8%. Compared to February 2023, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.3%.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 6,300 jobs in February. This follows January’s revised gain of 11,500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Employment now stands at 3,738,900. Massachusetts gained 675,400 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From February 2023 to February 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 24,800 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.