August Unemployment Rate Drops To 3.9 Percent
Sep 15, 2016 12:02PM
By Bill Gilman
BOSTON -- The state's total unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July, and preliminary estimates show the state gained 5,900 jobs over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday.
The last time the state's unemployment rate hit 3.9 percent was in August 2001. At 3.9 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 0.9 percent over the year from 4.8 percent in August 2015. There were 30,300 fewer unemployed residents and 73,000 more employed residents over the year compared to August 2015.
Massachusetts' unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.9 percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state added less jobs over the month in July than the Bureau of Labor Statistics originally estimated, gaining 5,800 jobs compared to the previously published 7,300 job gain estimate. Year-to-date, December 2015 to August 2016, Massachusetts has added 61,000 jobs.
In August, the largest over the month job gains occurred in the Leisure and Hospitality; Education and Health Services; and Other Services sectors.
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 -- is 65.0 percent. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.2 of a percentage point compared to August 2015.
Over the year, the largest private sector percentage job gains were in Construction; Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; and Education and Health Services.
August 2016 Employment Overview
Education and Health Services gained 1,200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Education and Health Services gained 20,200 (+2.6%) jobs.
Other Services added 1,100 (+0.8%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services are up 800 (+0.6%) jobs.
Construction added 900 (+0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction has gained 11,700 (+8.4%) jobs.
Information gained 900 (+1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added 1,200 (+1.4%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 700 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial Activities gained 3,200 (+1.4%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 700 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 2,600 (+0.5%) jobs.
Manufacturing added 600 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing lost 100 (0.0%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 1,400 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 15,300 (+2.8%) jobs.
Government lost 1,000 (-0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained 2,800 (+0.6%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
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.
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.