BOSTON (WWLP) – Unemployment numbers for the month of August were released.
Massachusetts gained a total of 15,400 jobs in August, which brings the unemployment rate to 2.6 percent, which is a historically low number, topped only by the 2.5 percent that was reported in July.
Even though August saw a loss in some sectors, the preliminary job estimates show that the state made significant gains. Over the year, from August 2022 to 2023, the state gained around 90,5000 jobs and the largest over-the-year gain was in education and health services at 27,600 jobs, professional, scientific and business services at 18,300 jobs, and leisure and hospitality at 17,800 jobs.
Now, over the month increases were in government which saw an increase of 6,500 jobs, education and health services which grew by 3,500 jobs and leisure and hospitality which added 2,100 jobs.
Not every sector saw gains unfortunately, manufacturing saw a loss of 400 jobs, trade transportation and utilities lost 600 jobs and information lost 800 jobs, all over the month. Just last week, officials from 21 business groups called on the federal government to process work authorizations for migrants saying that employers continue to seek workers but continue to be left unable to fill jobs.
As for western Massachusetts, unemployment is now below pre-pandemic levels of 3.4% percent. Franklin County saw an employment level of 2.4% percent and Hampshire County was at 2.6% percent.
However, the low unemployment rate is partly a result of a declining labor force, which was down 2.7% percent compared to August 2022. In western Massachusetts there was a decline of .3% percent, in contrast, the state saw a .03% percent decline.
The unemployment rate of 2.6 percent is 1.2 percent lower than the national rate of 3.8 percent.