For Immediate Release:
OCTOBER 16, 2020
Contact: Charles Pearce 617-626-7121
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Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for September

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 16, 2020 --- The state’s September total unemployment rate is down 1.8 percentage points at 9.6 percent following a revision to the August rate at 11.4 percent , the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 36,900 jobs in September. This follows last month’s revised gain of 62,500 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 49,200 jobs as gains occurred in Education and Health Services; Leisure and Hospitality; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Other Services; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Manufacturing; Construction; Financial Activities; and Information. Government added jobs over the month.

From September 2019 to September 2020, BLS estimates Massachusetts lost 351,800 jobs. Losses occurred in each of the private sectors, with the largest percentage losses in Leisure and Hospitality; Other Services; Construction; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities.

The September unemployment rate was 1.7 percentage points above the national rate of 7.9 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 240,900 from 3,548,600 in August, as 279,000 more residents were employed and 38,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 6.8 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 – increased to 66.9 percent. Compared to September 2019, the labor force participation rate is down by one percentage point.

September 2020 Employment Overview

Education and Health Services gained 11,100 (+1.5%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services lost 52,700 (-6.5%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality gained 10,800 (+4.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality lost 134,000 (-35.7%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 8,800 (+1.7%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 51,400 (-8.9%) jobs.

Other Services gained 6,300 (+6.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are down 27,100 (-19.6%) jobs.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 5,400 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 27,500 (-4.5%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 2,000 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 10,500 (-4.3%) jobs.

Financial Activities gained 2,000 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities lost 3,600 (-1.6%) jobs.

Construction added 2,000 (+1.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has lost 19,300 (-11.8%) jobs.

Information gained 800 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information lost 2,200 (-2.4%) jobs.

Government lost 12,300 (-2.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government lost 22,700 (-5.0%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The September estimates show 3,424,200 Massachusetts residents were employed and 365,400 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,789,600. The unemployment rate at 9.6 percent was down by 1.8 percentage points from the revised August estimate of 11.4 percent. The September labor force increased by 240,900 from 3,548,600 in August, as 279,000 more residents were employed and 38,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, was up 4.2 percentage points over the month at 66.9 percent. Over the year, the labor force was down 40,200 from the 3,829,800 September 2019 estimate, with 298,200 fewer residents employed and 258,000 more residents unemployed.

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different monthly trends. The Bureau of Labor Statistics implemented the Current Population Survey level-shift outliers into the estimation models to incorporate the state claims and CES inputs starting with the revised March estimates. These level shifts preserved movements in published estimates that the models otherwise would have discounted as sampling error. Seasonal factors, which were suspended beginning with the March estimates, have been resumed and were applied starting with the June estimates.

NOTES: The labor force is the sum of the numbers of employed residents and those unemployed, that is residents not working but actively seeking work in the last four weeks. Estimates may not add up to the total labor force due to rounding. For further information on seasonal adjustment methodology, please refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website https://www.bls.gov.

Local area unemployment statistics for September 2020 will be released on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The preliminary October 2020 and revised September 2020 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, November 20, 2020. See the 2020 Media Advisory for complete list of release dates.

Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi .

Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Statewide Seasonally Adjusted Employment
Statewide Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Statewide Not Seasonally Adjusted Employment
Labor Force and Unemployment Data Current Employment Statistics Data

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Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
Department Economic Research
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