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Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s April total unemployment rate was 2.9%, unchanged from the revised March estimate of 2.9%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 1.0% 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 0.3%.

The labor force increased by an estimated 12,200 from the revised estimate of 3,757,000 in March, with 10,100 residents more employed and 1,900 more 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 — increased 0.2% over the month to 65.1%. Compared to April 2023, the labor-force participation rate was unchanged.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 500 jobs in April. This follows March’s revised loss of 4,100 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Employment now stands at 3,733,000. Massachusetts gained 669,500 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From April 2023 to April 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 21,800 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s March total unemployment rate was 2.9%, unchanged from the revised February estimate of 2.9, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 0.9% lower than the national rate of 3.8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.6%.

The labor force increased by an estimated 8,300 from the revised estimate of 3,748,700 in February, with 11,300 residents more employed and 3,000 fewer residents unemployed over the month. The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents age 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — increased 0.1% over the month to 64.9%. Compared to March 2023, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.3%.

BLS preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 2,900 jobs in March, following February’s revised gain of 5,000 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services. Employment now stands at 3,740,500. Massachusetts gained 677,000 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From March 2023 to March 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 22,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services.

Daily News

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.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s January total unemployment rate was 3.0%, down 0.2% from the revised December estimate of 3.2%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Massachusetts unemployment rate was 0.7% lower than the national rate of 3.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.5%.

The labor force grew by an estimated 400 from the revised estimate of 3,749,900 in December, with 8,000 more residents employed and 7,600 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 — remained at 64.9% over the month. Compared to January 2023, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.1%.

Annual year-end revisions and updated population controls from the U.S. Census Bureau resulted in changes to the labor-force estimates from 2019 to 2023, with the most notable revisions in 2023. The revisions in 2023 resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate from previously published estimates, ranging from 0.1% to 0.7% during the months of April to November, with the largest revision of 0.7% occurring from June to September. Compared to previously published estimates in 2023, the annual revisions showed an increase in the labor-force estimates for all months, ranging from 0.2% to 1%, with the highest revision occurring in September.

The BLS preliminary job estimates indicate that Massachusetts gained 18,300 jobs in January. This follows December’s revised gain of 4,600 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services. Employment now stands at 3,739,400. Massachusetts gained 675,900 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From January 2023 to January 2024, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 25,800 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s November total unemployment rate was 2.9%, up just 0.1 percentage point from the revised October estimate of 2.8%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 3,200 jobs in November. This follows October’s revised loss of 500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, financial activities, and government. Employment now stands at 3,786,200. Massachusetts gained 724,600 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From November 2022 to November 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 66,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services, construction, and leisure and hospitality.

The state’s November unemployment rate of 2.9% was 0.8% lower than the national rate of 3.7% reported by BLS.

The labor force grew by an estimated 7,700 from the revised estimate of 3,721,400 in October, as 2,400 more residents were employed and 5,300 more residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.8%.

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 — increased by 0.1% to 64.6% over the month. Compared to November 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.2%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s October total unemployment rate was 2.8%, up 0.2% from the revised September estimate of 2.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 800 jobs in October. This follows September’s revised loss of 2,600 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services, other services, and construction. Employment now stands at 3,782,700. Massachusetts gained 721,100 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From October 2022 to October 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 77,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and construction.

The state’s October unemployment rate of 2.8% was 1.1% lower than the national rate of 3.9% reported by BLS.

The labor force grew by an estimated 5,600 from the revised estimate of 3,716,000 in September, as 500 fewer residents were employed and 6,200 more residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.0%.

The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents age 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — increased by 0.1% to 64.5% over-the-month. Compared to October 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.3%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s September total unemployment rate was 2.6%, unchanged from the revised August estimate of 2.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 2,800 jobs in September. This follows August’s revised gain of 12,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Employment now stands at 3,783,300. Massachusetts gained 721,700 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From September 2022 to September 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 91,900 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; leisure and hospitality; and professional, scientific, and business services.

The state’s September unemployment rate of 2.6% was 1.2% lower than the national rate of 3.8% reported by BLS.

The labor force declined by an estimated 1,200 from the revised estimate of 3,717,400 in August, as 400 more residents were employed and 1,600 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.1%.

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 0.1 percentage point to 64.4% over-the-month. Compared to September 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.4%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s August total unemployment rate was 2.6%, up 0.1 percentage point from the revised July estimate of 2.5%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 15,400 jobs in August, following July’s revised gain of 4,600 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services. Employment now stands at 3,788,700.

From August 2022 to August 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 90,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality.

The state’s August unemployment rate of 2.6% was 1.2% below the national rate of 3.8% reported by BLS.

The labor force grew by an estimated 2,000 from the revised estimate of 3,715,300 in July, as 4,300 fewer residents were employed and 6,300 more residents were unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.3%

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 unchanged at 64.5% over-the-month. Compared to August 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.6%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s July total unemployment rate was 2.5%, down 0.1% from the revised June estimate of 2.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 12,500 jobs in July. This follows June’s revised gain of 1,400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and information.

Employment now stands at 3,781,200. Massachusetts gained 719,600 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From July 2022 to July 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 90,300 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality.

The state’s July unemployment rate of 2.5% was 1.0% below the national rate of 3.5% reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 5,200 from the revised estimate of 3,720,900 in June, as 1,200 fewer residents were employed and 4,000 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.2%.

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 — dropped by 0.1% to 64.5% over-the-month. Compared to July 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.6%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s June total unemployment rate was 2.6%, down 0.2% from the revised May estimate of 2.8%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 4,500 jobs in June. This follows May’s revised gain of 7,300 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services; financial activities; and leisure and hospitality. Employment now stands at 3,762,800. Massachusetts gained 701,200 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From June 2022 to June 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 96,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality.

The state’s June unemployment rate of 2.6% was 1.0 percentage point below the national rate of 3.6% reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 7,400 from the revised estimate of 3,728,300 in May, as 2,100 more residents were employed and 9,500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.1%.

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 0.1 percentage point to 64.6% over the month. Compared to June 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.7%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate for May was 2.8%, down 0.3 percentage points from the revised April estimate of 3.1%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 5,700 jobs in May. This follows April’s revised gain of 5,900 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and manufacturing. Employment now stands at 3,765,700. Massachusetts gained 704,100 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From May 2022 to May 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 105,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and government.

The state’s May unemployment rate of 2.8% was 0.9% below the national rate of 3.7% reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 3,800 from the revised estimate of 3,732,000 in April, as 5,400 more residents were employed and 9,200 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.9%.

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 0.1% to 64.7% over the month. Compared to May 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.7%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s April total unemployment rate was 3.3%, down 0.2% from the revised March estimate of 3.5%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 5,100 jobs in April. This follows March’s revised gain of 12,100 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; information; and professional, scientific, and business services. Employment now stands at 3,759,200. Massachusetts gained 697,600 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From April 2022 to April 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 99,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality.

The state’s April unemployment rate of 3.3% was 0.1 percentage point below the national rate of 3.4% reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 2,200 from the revised estimate of 3,741,200 in March, as 8,300 more residents were employed and 10,500 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.4%.

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 0.1 percentage point to 64.9% over-the-month. Compared to April 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.5%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s March total unemployment rate was 3.5%, down 0.2% from the revised February estimate of 3.7%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 16,300 jobs in March, following February’s revised gain of 9,200 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and construction. Employment now stands at 3,758,300. Massachusetts gained 696,700 jobs since the employment low in April 2020.

From March 2022 to March 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 104,000 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality. The state’s March unemployment rate of 3.5% was the same as the national rate reported by BLS.

The labor force increased by an estimated 300 from 3,741,500 in February, as 4,700 more residents were employed and 4,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.2%.

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 — remained unchanged at 65.0% over-the-month. Compared to March 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.3%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s February total unemployment rate was 3.7%, up two-tenths of a percentage point from the revised January estimate of 3.5%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 3,000 jobs in February.This follows January’s revised gain of 8,900 jobs. The largest over-the-month, private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Employment now stands at 3,735,800. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 674,200 jobs.

From February 2022 to February 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 91,700 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; and leisure and hospitality.

The February unemployment rate of 3.7% was 0.1 percentage point above the national rate of 3.6% reported by BLS.

The labor force increased by an estimated 11,700 from 3,729,800 in January, as 6,800 more residents were employed and 4,800 more residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.2%.

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 — increased by 0.2% to 65.0% over-the-month. Compared to February 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down 0.4%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s January total unemployment rate was 3.6%, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised December estimate of 3.7%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 19,600 jobs in January. This follows December’s revised gain of 3,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and leisure and hospitality. Employment now stands at 3,743,500. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 681,900 jobs.

From January 2022 to January 2023, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 117,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; and education and health services.

The January unemployment rate of 3.6% was two-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 3.4% reported by BLS.

The labor force increased by an estimated 3,900 from 3,726,400 in December, with 8,100 more residents employed and 4,200 fewer residents unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 0.4%.

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 — increased by 0.1% to 64.8% over-the-month. Compared to January 2022, the labor-force participation rate was down five-tenths of a percentage point.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s December total unemployment rate was 3.3%, down 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 6,300 jobs in December. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 15,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; and leisure and hospitality. Employment now stands at 3,732,900. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 681,900 jobs.

From December 2021 to December 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 134,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional and business services.

The December unemployment rate of 3.3% was two-tenths of a percentage point below the national rate of 3.5% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 7,500 from 3,732,400 in November, with 6,850 fewer residents employed, and 600 fewer residents unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.3 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 0.2 percentage points to 65.1% over-the-month. Compared to December 2021, the labor-force participation rate was down four-tenths of a percentage point.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s November total unemployment rate was 3.4%, down 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 17,300 jobs in November. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 10,000 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; education and health services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Employment now stands at 3,710,600. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 677,100 jobs.

From November 2021 to November 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 144,200 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional and business services.

The November unemployment rate of 3.4% was three-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 13,000 from 3,745,600 in October, with 7,300 fewer residents employed and 5,800 fewer residents unemployed over-the-month.

Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.4%.

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 0.2% to 65.3% over-the-month. Compared to November 2021, the labor-force participation rate was down three-tenths of a percentage point.

Daily News

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.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s September total unemployment rate was 3.4%, down two-tenths 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 13,800 jobs in September. This follows August’s revised gain of 800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and construction. Employment now stands at 3,691,700. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 640,700 jobs.

From September 2021 to September 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 151,700 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and professional, scientific, and business services.

The September unemployment rate of 3.4% was one-tenth of a percentage point below the national rate of 3.5% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 13,500 from 3,763,000 in August, as 7,900 fewer residents were employed and 5,600 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.7%.

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 two-tenths of a percentage point to 65.6%, the same figure recorded in September 2021.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s August total unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point over-the-month to 3.6%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 6,400 jobs in August, following the previous month’s revised gain of 10,500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and health services. Employment now stands at 3,680,100. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts gained 632,500 jobs.

From August 2021 to August 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 126,400 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

The August unemployment rate of 3.6% was one-tenth 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 2,200 from 3,765,500 in July, as 6,300 fewer residents were employed and 4,100 more residents were unemployed over-the-month. Over-the-year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 1.9%

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 unchanged at 65.8%. Compared to August 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.1%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s July total unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.5% over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 13,500 jobs in July. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 5,800 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and other services. Employment now stands at 3,680,100. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts gained 629,100 jobs.

From July 2021 to July 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 134,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; and education and health services.

The July unemployment rate of 3.5% was the same as the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 7,500 from 3,773,100 in June, as 800 more residents were employed, and 8,300 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 2.2%.

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 down two-tenths of a percentage point at 65.8%. Compared to July 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.2%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total June unemployment rate dropped by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7% over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 3,400 jobs in June, following the previous month’s revised gain of 400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in construction, professional and business services, and information. Employment now stands at 3,664,200. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 613,200 jobs.

From June 2021 to June 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 164,700 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

The June unemployment rate of 3.7% was 0.1 percentage point above the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force decreased by an estimated 2,300 from 3,775,600 in May, as 4,400 more residents were employed, and 6,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 2.3%.

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 steady at 66.0%. Compared to June 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.3%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s February total unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7% over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 14,600 jobs in February. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 9,400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health services; and manufacturing. Employment now stands at 3,662,400. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 571,400 jobs.

From February 2021 to February 2022, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 173,500 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services. Financial activities was the only sector to see job losses.

The February unemployment rate of 4.7% was 0.9% above the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by an estimated 5,500 from 3,766,900 in January, as 9,900 more residents were employed, and 4,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 2.0%.

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 65.9% over the month. Compared to February 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.8%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s January total unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage points to 4.8%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate that Massachusetts gained 10,600 jobs in January. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 14,500 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in professional, scientific, and business services; leisure and hospitality; construction; and manufacturing. Employment now stands at 3,609,000. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 558,000 jobs.

From January 2021 to January 2022, BLS estimates that Massachusetts gained 178,100 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services. Financial activities was the only sector to see job losses.

The January unemployment rate of 4.8% was 0.8% above the national rate reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by an estimated 15,700 from 3,751,500 in December, as 9,400 more residents were employed, and 6,200 more residents were unemployed over the month.Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 2.3%.

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 three-tenths of a percentage point to 65.8%. Compared to January 2021, the labor-force participation rate was up 0.6%.

Daily News

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%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s November total unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.4%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 16,800 jobs in November. This follows last month’s revised gain of 26,400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private-sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and educational and health services. Since the employment trough in April 2020, Massachusetts has gained 519,500 jobs.

From November 2020 to November 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 196,000 jobs. The largest over-the-year gains occurred in leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and education and health services.

The November unemployment rate was 1.2% above the national rate of 4.2% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 14,100 from 3,726,300 in October, as 8,200 more residents were employed, and 5,900 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 3.0%.

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 three-tenths of a percentage point at 66.3%. Compared to November 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 0.4%.

Daily News

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%.

Veterans in Business

Labor Pains

 

The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001 — a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans — rose to 7.3% in 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this year. The jobless rate for all veterans increased to 6.5% in 2020. These increases reflect the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labor market.

In August 2020, 40% of Gulf War-era II veterans had a service-connected disability, compared with 26% of all veterans. Among other highlights from the 2020 data:

• Unemployment rates for both male and female veterans increased in 2020, reflecting the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate for male veterans was 6.5%, little different from the rate of 6.7% for female veterans.

• Unemployment rates for white, black, Asian, and Hispanic veterans were lower than for their non-veteran counterparts in 2020.

• Among the 581,000 unemployed veterans in 2020, 54% were ages 25 to 54, 41% were age 55 and over, and 5% were ages 18 to 24.

• The unemployment rate of veterans with a service-connected disability, at 6.2% in August 2020, did not have a statistically significant change over the year. The rate for veterans with no disability rose to 7.2%.

“In 2020, 18.5 million men and women were veterans, accounting for about 7% of the civilian non-institutional population age 18 and over.”

• Gulf War-era II veterans who reported a service-connected disability rating of less than 30% were much more likely to be in the labor force than those with a rating of 60% or higher in August 2020 (91.5%, compared with 63.6%).

• In August 2020, 31% of employed veterans with a service-connected disability worked in the public sector, compared with 19% of veterans with no disability and 14% of non-veterans.

In 2020, 18.5 million men and women were veterans, accounting for about 7% of the civilian non-institutional population age 18 and over. Of all veterans, about 10% were women. In the survey, veterans are defined as men and women who have previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were civilians at the time these data were collected.

Veterans are much more likely to be men than are non-veterans, and they also tend to be older. In part, this reflects the characteristics of veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam era, all of whom are now over 60 years old. Veterans who served during these wartime periods accounted for 37% (6.8 million) of the total veteran population in 2020. Forty-one percent of veterans (7.6 million) served during the Gulf War era I (August 1990 to August 2001) or Gulf War era II (September 2001 to present). Twenty-two percent (4.1 million) served outside the designated wartime periods.

In August 2020, 4.7 million veterans, or 26% of the total, had a service-connected disability. Veterans with a service-connected disability are assigned a disability rating by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Defense. Ratings range from 0 to 100%, in increments of 10 percentage points, depending on the severity of the condition.

The unemployment rate for veterans with a service-connected disability was 6.2% in August 2020, not statistically different from the rate for veterans with no disability (7.2%). The unemployment rates for male and female veterans with a service-connected disability were not statistically different (5.8% and 8.9%, respectively). The labor-force participation rate for veterans with a service-connected disability (48.6%) was also not statistically different from the rate for veterans with no disability (47.2%). Among veterans with a service-connected disability, 27% reported a disability rating of less than 30%, while 44% had a rating of 60% or higher.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s September total unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.2% in September, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 11,900 jobs in September. This follows last month’s revised gain of 3,400 jobs. The largest over-the-month private sector job gains were in education and health services and other services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 159,900 jobs.

From September 2020 to September 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 175,200 jobs. Gains occurred in all sectors, led by leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and trade, transportation and utilities.

The September unemployment rate was 0.4% above the national rate of 4.8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 11,300 from 3,709,500 in August, as 3,800 more residents were employed and 7,500 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 3.7%.

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 two-tenths of a percentage point at 65.9%. Compared to September 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 1.2%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% in July, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 43,400 jobs in July. This follows the previous month’s gain of 11,200 jobs.

Over the month, the private sector added 30,700 jobs as gains occurred across seven sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and professional, scientific, and business services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 146,400 jobs.

From July 2020 to July 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 254,200 jobs. Gains occurred in all sectors, led by leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities, with greater than 40,000 jobs gained over the year.

The July unemployment rate was 0.5% below the national rate of 5.4% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 4,900 from 3,696,700 in June, as 5,000 more residents were employed and 100 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 4.9%.

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 0.1% at 65.6% following a revision to the June rate of 65.5%. Compared to July 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 2.5%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate in June was down one-tenth of a percentage point at 4.9% following a revision to the May unemployment rate to 5.0%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revised its model to better capture the effect of the pandemic, resulting in revisions to additional earlier calculations.

The bureau’s preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 9,400 jobs in June. This follows the previous month’s gain of 9,200 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 5,400 jobs as gains occurred across six sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and education and health services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 101,200 jobs.

From June 2020 to June 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 292,800 jobs. Gains occurred in all sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and utilities.

The June unemployment rate was 1.0% below the national rate of 5.9% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 4,900 from 3,702,100 in May, as 8,000 more residents were employed and 3,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 9.9%.

The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents age 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — was up 0.1% to 65.7% following a revision to the May rate of 65.6%. Compared to June 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 0.5%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate was down 0.3% in May to 6.1%, following a revision to the April unemployment rate of 6.4%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 9,200 jobs in May. This follows April’s revised gain of 10,200 jobs. Over the month, leisure and hospitality once again had the largest gains with 3,200 jobs added, followed by education and health services, adding 2,400 jobs. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 91,800 jobs.

From May 2020 to May 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 357,700 jobs. Education and health services gained the most jobs, adding 50,600, followed by leisure and hospitality, adding 43,400 jobs.

The May unemployment rate was 0.3% higher than the national rate of 5.8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Massachusetts labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,745,700 in April, as 13,700 more residents were employed and 11,800 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 9.2%.

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 — remained at 66.4%. Compared to May 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 2.5%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s April total unemployment rate is down 0.2 percentage points at 6.5% following a revision to the March unemployment rate of 6.7%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 5,100 jobs in April. This follows last month’s revised gain of 14,800 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 3,900 jobs as gains occurred across four sectors. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 77,500 jobs. The professional, scientific, and business services sector led in over-the-month gains, with 4,500 (+0.8%) jobs added, while the largest over-the-month losses occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities as well as education and health services, each losing 1,100 jobs.

From April 2020 to April 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 392,300 jobs. Gains occurred over the year in each of the private sectors except for Information, with a small job loss of 200 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest gain of 119,600 (+75.7%) jobs, followed by trade, transportation and utilities, with 88,500 (19%) jobs added over the year.

The April unemployment rate was 0.4% higher than the national rate of 6.1% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,744,400 in March, as 12,400 more residents were employed and 10,500 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 9.9%.

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 66.4%. Compared to April 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 6.0%.

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 60: April 19, 2021

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Suzanne Murphy, CEO and founder of Unemployment Tax Control Associates in Springfield

On this installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Suzanne Murphy, CEO and founder of Unemployment Tax Control Associates in Springfield. The two discuss a critical issue now facing employers across the region — the huge increases in the unemployment insurance solvency fund assessment now facing all business owners. These assessment increases are dramatic and largely unforeseen, and they come at a time when many business owners are still reeling from the pandemic.  The two have a lively discussion about what’s at stake for businesses if something isn’t done, and just what can be done to provide a softer landing for the state’s businesses. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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Estate Planning

Crunching the Numbers

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was passed by the U.S. Congress by the narrowest of partisan margins, but its impact promises to be broad, for individuals and businesses alike. Following is a breakdown of how the act, signed into law by President Biden last month, affects everything from unemployment benefits to tax credits to employee retention.

By Jim Moran, CPA, MST

 

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is aimed at stabilizing the economy, providing needed relief to individuals, small businesses, and improving and accelerating the administration of coronavirus vaccines and testing.

The relief package, which is Biden’s first major legislative initiative, is one of the largest in U.S. history and follows on the heels of the Trump administration’s $900 billion COVID relief package enacted in December 2020 (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021).

The most significant measures included in the ARP are the following:

• A third round of stimulus payments to individuals and their dependents;

• Extension of enhanced supplemental federal unemployment benefits through September 2021;

• Expansion of the child tax credit and child and dependent care credit;

• Extension of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC);

• $7.25 billion in aid to small businesses, including Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans;

• Increased federal subsidies for COBRA coverage;

• More than $360 billion in aid directed to states, cities, U.S. territories, and tribal governments (the Senate added $10 billion for critical infrastructure, including broadband internet, and $8.5 billion for rural hospitals);

• $160 billion earmarked for vaccine and testing programs to improve capacity and help curb the spread of COVID; this includes funds to create a national vaccine-distribution program that would offer free shots to all U.S. residents regardless of immigration status; and

• Other measures that address nutritional assistance, housing aid, and funds for schools.

Here are details on many (but not all) of the provisions of the ARP.

 

MEASURES AFFECTING INDIVIDUALS

The ARP includes several measures to help individuals who have been adversely affected by the impact of the pandemic on the economy. The additional round of stimulus checks, in conjunction with supplemental federal unemployment benefits, should provide some measure of relief to individuals. A temporarily enhanced child tax credit offers another area of assistance.

 

Cash Payments

An additional $1,400 payment is being sent for each dependent of the taxpayer, including adult dependents (such as college students and parents). The previous two stimulus payments limited the additional payments to dependent children age 16 or younger.

jim Moran

jim Moran

“The relief package, which is Biden’s first major legislative initiative, is one of the largest in U.S. history and follows on the heels of the Trump administration’s $900 billion.”

The amount of the stimulus payment is based on information in the taxpayer’s 2020 tax return if it had been filed and processed; otherwise, the 2019 return is used. The amount of the payment will not be taxable income for the recipient.

The stimulus payments are subject to certain limitations with respect to a household’s adjusted gross income. Households with adjusted gross income of more than $80,000 for single filers, $120,000 for head-of-household filers, and $160,000 for married filing jointly will not receive any payment. For taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes below those respective limitations, the stimulus is subject to a phaseout beginning at $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for married filing jointly.

 

Extended Unemployment Benefits

The current weekly federal unemployment benefit of $300 (which applies in addition to any state unemployment benefits) is extended through Sept. 6, 2021; the Senate cut back the $400 that would have applied through Aug. 29 under the House version. The extension also covers the self-employed and individual contractors (such as gig workers) who typically are not entitled to unemployment benefits.

Additionally, the first $10,200 (per person if married filed jointly) of unemployment insurance received in 2020 would be non-taxable income for workers in households with income up to $150,000. If you have already filed your 2020 federal taxes (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), there is no need to file an amended return to figure the amount of unemployment compensation to exclude. The IRS will refigure your taxes using the excluded unemployment compensation amount and adjust your account accordingly. The IRS will send any refund amount directly to you.

 

Child Tax Credit

The child tax credit will be expanded considerably for 2021 to help low- and middle-income taxpayers (many of the same individuals who will be eligible for stimulus payments), and the credit will be refundable.

The amount of the credit will increase from the current $2,000 (for children under 17) to $3,000 per eligible child ($3,600 for a child under age six), and the $3,000 will also be available for children who are 17 years old. The increase in the maximum amount will phase out for heads of households earning $112,500 ($150,000 for couples).

Because the enhanced child tax credit will be fully refundable, eligible taxpayers will receive a refund for any credit amount not used to offset the individual’s federal income-tax liability. Part of the credit will be paid in advance by the IRS during the period July through December 2021 so that taxpayers do not have to wait until they file their tax returns for 2021. The IRS will publish future guidance as to how the payments will be refunded.

 

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit

The child and dependent care tax credit will be expanded for 2021 to cover up to 50% of qualifying childcare expenses up to $4,000 for one child and $8,000 for two or more children for 2021 (currently, the credit is up to 35% of $3,000 for one child or 35% of $6,000 for two or more children). The credit will be refundable so that families with a low tax liability will be able to benefit; the refund will be fully available to families earning less than $125,000 and partially available for those earning between $125,000 and $400,000.

 

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The EITC will be expanded for 2021 to ensure it is available to low-paid workers who do not have any children in the home. The maximum credit will increase from about $530 to about $1,500, and the income cap to qualify for the EITC will go from about $16,000 to about $21,000. Further, the EITC will be available to individuals age 19-24 who are not full-time students, as well as those over 65.

 

MEASURES AFFECTING BUSINESSES

The ARP also contains provisions designed to assist businesses — small businesses in particular.

 

Small Businesses and Paycheck Protection Program

An additional $7.25 billion is allocated to assist small businesses and the PPP forgiven loans. The current eligibility rules remain unchanged for small businesses wishing to participate in the PPP, although there is a provision that will make more nonprofit organizations eligible for a PPP loan if certain requirements are met.

The PPP — which was originally created as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020 — is designed to help small businesses that have suffered from disruptions and shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic and keep them operational by granting federally guaranteed loans to be used to retain staff at pre-COVID levels. A PPP loan may be forgiven in whole or in part if certain requirements are met.

The Economic Aid Act, which is part of the CAA, earmarked an additional $284 billion for PPP loans, with specific set-asides for eligible borrowers with no more than 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low- or moderate-income neighborhoods. The program has recently been extended from March 31, 2021 to May 31, 2021.

 

Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

The ERC, originally introduced under the CARES Act and enhanced under the CAA, aims to encourage employers (including tax-exempt entities) to keep employees on their payroll and continue providing health benefits during the COVID pandemic. The ERC is a refundable payroll-tax credit for wages paid and health coverage provided by an employer whose operations were either fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-related governmental order or that experienced a significant reduction in gross receipts.

The CAA extended the eligibility period of the ERC to June 30, 2021, increased the ERC rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages, and increased the limit on per-employee wages from $10,000 for the year to $10,000 per quarter ($50,000 per quarter for startup businesses). The ARP also extends the ERC until Dec. 31, 2021 under the same terms as provided in the CAA.

 

 

Other Measures

• Employers offering COVID-related paid medical leave to their employees will be eligible for an expanded tax credit through Sept. 30, 2021.

• The ARP increases the proposed subsidies of insurance premiums for individual workers eligible for COBRA, after they were laid off or had their hours reduced, to 100% through Sept. 30, 2021.

• Funds are allocated for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance payments, as well as for particularly hard-hit industries such as restaurants, bars, and other eligible food and drink providers, shuttered venue operators, and the airline industry.

• Effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 20, 2020, the ARP repeals IRC section 864(f), which allows U.S.-affiliated groups to elect to allocate interest on a worldwide basis. This provision was enacted as part of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 and has been deferred several times. The provision is relevant in computing the foreign tax-credit limitation under IRC section 904.

• The ARP does not cancel student-loan debt, but there is a provision that would make student loan forgiveness passed between Dec. 31, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2026 tax-free (normally, the cancellation of debt is considered taxable income).

• A deduction will be disallowed for compensation that exceeds $1 million for the highest-paid employees (such as the CEO, CFO, etc.) for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2026.

• The limitation on excess business losses of non-corporate taxpayers enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be extended by one year through 2026.

• The threshold for third-party payment processors to report information to the IRS is lowered substantially. Specifically, IRC section 6050W(e) is revised so that the current threshold of $200,000 for at least 200 transactions is reduced to $600. As a result, such payment processors will have to provide a Form 1099K to sellers for whom they have processed more than $600 (regardless of the number of transactions). This change, which applies to tax returns for calendar years beginning after Dec. 31, 2021, will bring many more sellers, including ‘casual’ sellers, within the 1099K reporting net.

If you have questions about any of the items above, reach out to your tax professional, who will be able to navigate you through any portion of the American Rescue Plan Act and how it may affect you.

 

Jim Moran, CPA, MST is a tax manager at Melanson, advising clients on individual and corporate tax matters; [email protected]

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate was down 0.7% in February at 7.1%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 14,100 jobs in February. This follows last month’s revised gain of 37,900 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 22,300 jobs as gains occurred across all sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and professional, scientific, and business services.

From February 2020 to February 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 325,100 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors with the exception of mining and logging, with the largest-percentage losses in leisure and hospitality, with 30.1% of the jobs lost; other services, with 19.0% of the jobs lost; and education and health services, with 8.9% of the jobs lost.

The February unemployment rate was 0.9% higher than the national rate of 6.2% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force dropped by 11,900 from 3,756,700 in January, as 15,700 more residents were employed and 27,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up by 4.3 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 — was down two-tenths of a percentage point at 66.3%. Compared to February 2020, the labor-force participation rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate for January was down 0.6 percentage points at 7.8%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 35,500 jobs in January. This follows last month’s revised loss of 8,700 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 26,300 jobs as gains occurred across all sectors, led by education and health services and professional, scientific, and business services.

From January 2020 to January 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 334,200 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors with the exception of mining and logging, with the largest-percentage losses in leisure and hospitality, with 32.8% of jobs lost; other services, with 18.7% of jobs lost; and education and health services, with 8.7% of jobs lost.

The January unemployment rate was 1.5 percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.3% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 3,600 from 3,753,100 in December, as 23,300 more residents were employed and 19,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was up by five 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 — remained unchanged at 66.5%. Compared to January 2020, the labor force participation rate is down one-tenth of a percentage point.

Annual year-end revisions show the unemployment rates were lower than the previously published estimates for May 2020 through September 2020. After the revisions, the highest unemployment rate during the COVID-19 pandemic occurred in April 2020 at 16.4%, which was 1.3 percentage points lower than the previously published highest rate of 17.7% in June 2020.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate rose 0.7% to 7.4% in December, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicates Massachusetts lost 600 jobs in December. This follows last month’s revised gain of 12,600 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 5,200 jobs as gains occurred in professional and business services; trade, transportation, and utilities; construction; manufacturing; and financial activities. Losses occurred in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, information, other services, and government.

From December 2019 to December 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 335,400 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest-percentage losses in leisure and hospitality, other services, construction, and education and health services.

The December unemployment rate was 0.7% above the national rate of 6.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 70,400 from 3,588,100 in November, as 39,800 more residents were employed and 30,600 more residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 4.6%.

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 by 1.2% over the month at 64.5%. Compared to December 2019, the labor-force participation rate is down by 3.4%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s November total unemployment rate was down 0.7 percentage points at 6.7%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 12,200 jobs in November. This follows the previous month’s revised gain of 9,500 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 15,600 jobs as gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; construction; education and health services; leisure and hospitality; information; financial activities; manufacturing; and other services. Government lost jobs over the month.

From November 2019 to November 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 337,900 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest percentage losses in leisure and hospitality, construction,education and health services, and other services.

The November unemployment rate was the same as the national rate of 6.7% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 3.9 %.

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 to 63.1%. Compared to November 2019, the labor-force participation rate was down by 4.8%.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s October unemployment rate was down 2.4 percentage points at 7.4% following a revision to the September rate at 9.8%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 11,400 jobs in October, following the previous month’s revised gain of 36,400 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 15,600 jobs as gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; construction; manufacturing; financial activities; and other services. Government lost jobs over the month.

From October 2019 to October 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 340,200 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest-percentage losses in leisure and hospitality; other services; construction; and education and health services.

The October unemployment rate was 0.5% above the national rate of 6.9% reported by BLS.

The labor force decreased by 155,600 from 3,764,000 in September, as 55,200 fewer residents were employed and 100,400 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 4.6%.

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 to 63.7%. Compared to October 2019, the labor-force participation rate is down by 4.3%.