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Massachusetts Unemployment Drops Slightly in November

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.4% in November, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicates Massachusetts added 4,600 jobs in November. Over the month, the private sector added 4,600 jobs as gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; and information. Financial activities, construction, other services, and manufacturing lost jobs over the month while the jobs level in leisure and hospitality remained unchanged.

From November 2017 to November 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 60,500 jobs. The November unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“In November, the Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%, the lowest it has been since May of 2003,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said. “In addition to the Commonwealth’s consistently low unemployment rate, which has held under 4% for 31 consecutive months, Massachusetts has added over 57,000 jobs since the beginning of the year, with the largest share of those gains coming from professional, business, and scientific services and other key sectors.”

The labor force increased by 4,200 from 3,832,800 in October, as 8,300 more residents were employed and 4,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point.

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 — remained at 68%. Compared to November 2017, the labor force participation rate is up 2.7%. 

The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in professional, scientific, and business services; construction; information; and education and health services.

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