Boston – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported recently that the total [Massachusetts] unemployment rate in February was 8.2 percent, down 0.1 of a percentage point from the 8.3 percent January rate.
The rate remains below the national rate of 8.9 percent and is 0.6 of a percentage point less than the 8.8 percent rate in February 2010.
The preliminary February job estimates show 3,210,800 jobs in Massachusetts, an increase of 15,400 jobs, with the largest gain in Education and Health Services.
Job gains were also posted in Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Other Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Financial Activities; while Manufacturing, Construction, and Government lost jobs. The February job gain follows a revised 1,600 jobs gain in January, previously reported as a 5,600 job gain. Over-the-year, jobs are up 33,500 (+1.1 percent) with private sector jobs up 37,000 (+1.4 percent).
The three-month average seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate was 8.3 percent as was the six-month average.
Over-the-year, the unemployment rate is down 0.6 of a percentage point with 29,900 more residents employed and 17,200 fewer residents unemployed. Trends for the labor force, unemployed residents, employed residents, the unemployment rate and jobs continue to indicate improvement for the Commonwealth’s economy.
The Education and Health Services sector gained 6,500 jobs (+1.0 percent) due to Educational Services’ 5,200 seasonal job gain (+3.2 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance gained 1,300 jobs (+0.3 percent). Over-the-year, Education and Health Services jobs are up 16,100 (+2.4 percent) as Health Care and Social Assistance added 11,500 jobs (+2.3 percent) and Educational Services added 4,600 jobs (+2.8 percent).
The Leisure and Hospitality sector added 4,300 jobs (+1.4 percent). Accommodation and Food Services was responsible for the gain with 4,500 jobs added (+1.7 percent) while Arts, Entertainment and Recreation shed 200 jobs (-0.4 percent). Over-the-year, jobs in Leisure and Hospitality are up 9,000 (+3.0 percent) as Accommodation and Food Services gained 6,300 jobs (+2.5 percent) and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation added 2,700 jobs (+5.6 percent).
Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 2,800 jobs (+0.6 percent) following a revised gain of 4,700 jobs (+1.0 percent). Within this sector, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services gained 2,600 jobs (+1.0 percent); Management of Companies and Enterprises gained 500 jobs (+0.9 percent); and Administrative, Support and Waste Management Services, which includes Employment Services and Services to Buildings and Dwellings, lost 300 jobs (-0.2 percent). Over-the-year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 6,600 jobs (+1.4 percent) with the largest gain in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services which added 4,200 jobs (+1.7 percent).
Other Services added 2,200 jobs (+1.9 percent). Over-the-year jobs in Other Services are up 400 (+0.3 percent).
Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 1,300 jobs (+0.2 percent), the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities gained 900 jobs (+1.1 percent) as Retail Trade gained 300 jobs (+0.1 percent) and Wholesale Trade gained 100 jobs (+0.1 percent). Over-the-year Trade, Transportation and Utilities jobs are up 7,700 (+1.4 percent) with Retail Trade accounting for most of the growth.
Financial Activities added 1,100 jobs (+0.5 percent), the fifth consecutive monthly gain. Within this sector, Finance and Insurance gained 600 jobs (+0.4 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 500 jobs (+1.3 percent). Over-the-year, Financial Activities has gained 100 jobs (0.0 percent).
Information employment remained unchanged. Over-the-year, jobs are up 700 (+0.8 percent). Since September 2010, Information employment has added 2,000 jobs.
Mining and Logging employment remained unchanged. Over-the-year, this sector has lost 100 jobs (-8.3 percent).
Manufacturing sector jobs were down 1,100 (-0.4 percent) with jobs in Durable Goods down 600 jobs (-0.4 percent), and Non-Durable Goods down 500 jobs (-0.6 percent). Over-the-year, Manufacturing jobs are down 500 (-0.2 percent) as the 1,500 job gain (+0.9 percent) in Durable Goods was offset by the 2,000 job loss (-2.3 percent) in Non-Durable Goods.
The Construction sector lost 1,000 jobs (-1.0 percent). Over-the-year, this sector lost 3,000 jobs (-2.8 percent).
Government lost 700 jobs (-0.2 percent) in February. Local Government gained 1,000 jobs (+0.4 percent) and Federal Government gained 300 jobs (+0.6 percent) while State Government lost 2,000 jobs (-1.6 percent). Over-the-year, Government has lost 3,500 jobs (-0.8 percent) with 2,100 jobs (-0.8 percent) lost in Local Government, 1,000 jobs lost (-0.8 percent) in State Government and 400 jobs lost (-0.8 percent) in Federal Government.
Labor Force Overview
The February estimates show 3,213,400 Massachusetts residents were employed and 288,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,501,600. The labor force decreased by 500 from 3,502,100 in January as 2,100 more residents were employed and 2,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.
The labor force is 12,700 above last year’s level with 29,900 more residents employed and 17,200 fewer residents unemployed. Since the rate peaked at 8.8 percent in October 2009, there are 45,000 more residents employed and 16,200 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force expanded by 28,800. Totals may not add exactly due to rounding.
The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households, while the job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics may exhibit different trends.