Massachusetts Jobless Rate Falls to 3.6 Percent
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON — The jobless rate in Massachusetts dipped downward by one-tenth of a percentage point last month as employers added 6,700 jobs last month, state officials reported Thursday.
The unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is the lowest level of joblessness recorded in the state since March and is a half-percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, state labor officials said. State officials also revised October's job report from a gain of 4,800 jobs to a gain of 3,200.
"Year-to-date the jobs and labor force estimates indicate a strong and stable economy in the Commonwealth," Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said in a statement. "Since December 2016, Massachusetts is estimated to have added 62,200 jobs, 64,300 more residents are participating in the labor force, and the unemployment rate remains low, averaging 3.8 percent. November also marks the 13th consecutive month of private sector job growth."
The private sector added 7,300 jobs in November, officials said, with gains in the leisure and hospitality; education and health services; construction; professional, scientific, and business services; and manufacturing sectors.
Estimates for November found that 3,647,800 Massachusetts residents were employed last month and another 130,600 were unemployed -- a total labor force of 3,657,800, according to Labor and Workforce Development.
Also Thursday, the New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported compensation costs for private employers in New England averaged $40.74 per hour worked in September. Wages and salaries accounted for 70.2 percent of the total compensation costs -- roughly $28.60 per hour -- while benefits accounted for 29.8 percent or $12.14 per hour of the costs.
Benefit costs to employers broke down in September as follows: $3.35 per hour for insurance including life, health, and short- and long-term disability insurance, $3 per hour for legally-required benefits like Social Security and Medicare, and $2.98 per hour worked for paid leave including vacation, holiday, sick and personal leave. Retirement and savings added another $1.65 per hour to the total benefits cost in New England, officials said.
--Colin A. Young, State House News Service