Economy and Workforce
Unemployment Rate

Maintaining


Unemployment Rate

What does this measure?

Unemployed individuals are those without jobs who are able, available and actively seeking work. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the total labor force (the total number of employed and unemployed individuals 16 or older and not living in prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes).

Why is this important?

Unemployment rates are a relatively timely indicator of current local economic conditions, particularly recent changes in the employment landscape that reflect the overall health of the economy.

How is our region doing?

The unemployment rate in MetroWest was 3.0% in 2018, which represented about 52,600 people seeking employment. This was a continuation of the steady decline seen in unemployment rates since the peak rate in MetroWest of 7.5% in 2009 and 2010. The state and nation have also had an overall decline since 2009, and had rates of 3.3% and 3.9%, respectively, in 2018. The 2018 rates for MetroWest and the state, though, were higher than the 2000 rates of 2.3% and 2.7%, respectively.

Notes about the data

The unemployment rate represents only those who are actively seeking employment and does not account for under-employment or discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs. Also, county-level estimates are based on relatively small samples, and the true number of unemployed residents may vary considerably from the estimate. The rates reported here are averages of monthly rates. 2019 data for this indicator are expected to be released in the second quarter of 2020.

Unemployment Rate
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
United States4.0%4.7%5.8%6.0%5.5%5.1%4.6%4.6%5.8%9.3%9.6%8.9%8.1%7.4%6.2%5.3%4.9%4.4%3.9%
Massachusetts2.7%3.7%5.3%5.7%5.1%4.8%4.9%4.6%5.5%8.1%8.3%7.3%6.7%6.7%5.7%4.8%3.9%3.8%3.3%
Region2.3%3.4%5.1%5.4%4.7%4.4%4.4%4.1%5.0%7.5%7.5%6.5%5.9%6.0%5.1%4.3%3.5%3.4%3.0%
Middlesex2.2%3.3%5.0%5.2%4.4%4.1%4.1%3.8%4.5%6.9%6.9%5.9%5.4%5.5%4.7%3.9%3.2%3.1%2.7%
Norfolk2.3%3.2%4.6%5.0%4.5%4.2%4.3%4.0%4.9%7.3%7.4%6.3%5.7%5.8%5.0%4.2%3.4%3.4%3.0%
Worcester2.7%3.9%5.6%6.1%5.5%5.2%5.3%5.1%6.0%8.9%8.8%7.7%7.2%7.2%6.1%5.1%4.1%3.9%3.5%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




Total Unemployed
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018
United States5,692,0006,801,0008,378,0008,774,0008,149,0007,591,0007,001,0007,078,0008,924,00014,265,00014,825,00013,747,00012,506,00011,460,0009,617,0008,296,0007,751,0006,982,0006,314,000
Massachusetts89,932126,153180,997195,428174,673164,027167,023157,913191,060281,372289,265251,554232,630236,035204,883172,558140,249138,956127,048
Region36,33553,77480,53385,56374,04668,61969,16165,21979,128119,062121,075103,31595,49497,34084,32571,02657,96057,66552,592
Middlesex17,71627,27141,31642,99735,94332,98632,94630,70737,34656,86857,20248,60645,02446,01439,92633,86227,70227,62124,982
Norfolk8,14311,34216,71518,05115,99414,78015,09414,17117,49226,15226,67822,47820,42621,07318,36115,39812,59512,75011,654
Worcester10,47615,16122,50224,51522,10920,85321,12120,34124,29036,04237,19532,23130,04430,25326,03821,76617,66317,29415,956

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Decreasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing


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