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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Ticks Up Slightly in October

BOSTON — The state’s October total unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.3%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 25,000 jobs in October. This follows September’s revised gain of 13,500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; and educational and health services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 186,500 jobs.

From October 2020 to October 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 197,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities.

The October unemployment rate was 0.7% above the national rate of 4.6% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 5,600 from 3,720,700 in September, as 1,600 more residents were employed and 4,000 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 3.2%.

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 up one-tenth of a percentage point at 66.0%. Compared to October 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 0.7%.

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