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Massachusetts Unemployment & Job Estimates for January

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  BOSTON, MA – March 10, 2023 – The state’s January total unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised December estimate of 3.7 percent, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Friday.

  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 percent was two-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate of 3.4 percent 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 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 by 0.1 percentage point to 64.8 percent over-the-month. Compared to January 2022, the labor force participation rate was down five-tenths of a percentage point.

January 2023 Employment Overview 

  Education and Health Services gained 5,000 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 16,400 were added.

  Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 3,200 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 16,300 were added.

  Leisure and Hospitality gained 3,000 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 23,300 were added.

  Professional, Scientific, and Business Services gained 2,300 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 27,400 were added.

  Government gained 1,900 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 12,200 were added.

  Manufacturing gained 1,500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 1,200 were added.

  Construction gained 1,400 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 4,000 were added.

  Other Services gained 700 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 5,400 were added.

  Information gained 500 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 3,000 were added.

  Financial Activities lost 0 jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, 7,900 were added. 

Labor Force Overview 

 The January estimates show 3,597,700 Massachusetts residents were employed and 132,600 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,730,300. The unemployment rate at 3.6 percent was down 0.1 percentage point from the revised December rate of 3.7 percent. Over-the-month, the January labor force grew by 3,900 from 3,726,400 in December, as 8,100 more residents were employed, and 4,200 fewer residents were unemployed. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age population employed and unemployed, increased by 0.1 of a percentage point to 64.8 percent over-the-month. The labor force was down 22,300 from the January 2022 estimate of 3,752,600, with 2,900 fewer employed residents, and 19,300 fewer unemployed residents.

  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.

Annual Year-End Revision (Benchmark) 

   In addition to monthly data revisions, BLS recalculates prior years’ labor market data through an annual process known as benchmarking. Benchmarking incorporates additional data sets from states’ unemployment insurance agencies and the U.S. Census Bureau to improve data quality.

  This year’s annual year-end revisions and updated population controls from the U.S. Census Bureau resulted in changes to the labor force estimates from 2018 to 2022, with the most notable year-end revisions in 2021 and 2022; revisions are reflected in the previously aforementioned data in this press release. The year-end revisions showed the unemployment rates were lower, ranging from 0.1 to 0.8 percentage points, than previously published estimates for the months of May to December in 2021 and January to May in 2022. The largest downward year-end revision of 0.8 of a percentage point occurred in January and February 2022. In 2022, the unemployment rates for July to December were 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points higher than previously estimated. The year-end revised labor force participation rates from April 2021 to December 2022 were lower than previously published.


  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.

  The preliminary February 2023 and revised January 2023 unemployment rate, labor force and job estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Friday, March 24, 2023. See the 2023 Media Advisory annual schedule for a complete list of release dates. 

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

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