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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Drops in December

BOSTON — The state’s December total unemployment rate dropped by 1.3 percentage points to 3.9% from the revised November estimate of 5.2%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 20,100 jobs in December. This follows last month’s revised gain of 14,200 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; and educational and health services. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 537,000 jobs.

From December 2020 to December 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 222,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

The December unemployment rate of 3.9% was the same as the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Massachusetts labor force decreased by 41,700 from 3,732,000 in November, as 7,900 more residents were employed, and 49,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 4.5%.

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 — was down seven-tenths of a percentage point at 65.4%. Compared to December 2020, the labor-force participation rate is down 1.1%.

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