Unemployment Rates Largely Down Across Massachusetts
BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for February were down in 17 labor market areas, unchanged in four areas, and up in three areas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compared with February 2014, over the year, unemployment rates were down in all of the labor market areas.
During February, four of the 15 areas for which job estimates are published recorded seasonal job gains, one had no change in jobs, and the remaining 10 areas lost jobs. The largest job gains were in the Springfield, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Worcester, and Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford areas. New Bedford was the only area to have no change in its jobs level. Since last February, all 15 areas added jobs, with the largest percentage gains in the Barnstable, Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, New Bedford, Leominster-Gardner, and Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem areas.
In order to compare the statewide rate to the local unemployment rates, BLS estimates the statewide unadjusted unemployment rate for February was 5.4%, down 0.2% from the revised January 2015 rate. Over the year, the statewide unadjusted rate was down 1.2% from the February 2014 rate of 6.6%.
The seasonally adjusted statewide February unemployment rate, released on March 19, was 4.9%, down 0.2% over the month and down 1.1% over the year. The rate was 0.6% below the national unemployment rate. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed an 800-job gain in February and an over-the-year gain of 58,100 jobs.
The labor force, unemployment rates, and job estimates for Massachusetts, and for every other state, are based on several different statistical methodologies specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor-market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.