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News Release Information

17-370-BOS
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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New England and State Unemployment - 2016

The annual average unemployment rate in New England, at 4.1 percent in 2016, was down 0.8 percentage point over the year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Nationally the unemployment rate fell 0.4 percentage point, to 4.9 percent in 2016. (See table 1.) Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that New England’s unemployment rate was measurably lower than the national average in 2016. The jobless rate in New England has rarely exceeded the U.S. average in the 40 years this data has been collected. (See chart A.

 

New England is 1 of 9 geographic divisions in the United States. Jobless rates in the divisions ranged from a low of 3.9 percent in the West North Central to a high of 5.3 percent in the Pacific and East South Central in 2016. Three divisions, New England, West North Central, and Mountain recorded annual average unemployment rates that were significantly lower than that for the nation. Two divisions had rates significantly above the U.S. average ̶ the East South Central and the Pacific. (See table 2.)

Six of the nine geographic divisions had statistically significant over-the-year unemployment rate changes in 2016, all of which were declines. The largest of these occurred in New England (-0.8 percentage point), the Pacific and South Atlantic (-0.7 point each). Four of the six states that make up the New England division had jobless rates measurably different from the U.S. average in 2016. Maine (3.9 percent), Massachusetts (3.7 percent), Vermont (3.3 percent) and New Hampshire (2.8 percent) had rates significantly lower than that for the nation. New Hampshire had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. In contrast, Rhode Island (5.3 percent) and Connecticut (5.1 percent) had rates not measurably different from the U.S. average. (See table 1.)

In New England, over-the-year rate declines ranged from 1.2 percentage points in Massachusetts to 0.3 percentage point in Vermont.


Technical Note

This release presents labor force and unemployment data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program.  Estimates for the U.S. are obtained directly from the CPS, which is a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households nationwide that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the Census Bureau.  All subnational estimates presented in this release were derived from updated time-series models with monthly benchmarking to national Current Population Survey (CPS) estimates.  Subnational data reflect revised population controls and model reestimation.  Historical data were revised back to 2012.  Data for regions, divisions, states, and the District of Columbia are available back to 1976.

The LAUS program produces data for the nine geographic divisions in the United States:  New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, East South Central, West South Central, East North Central, West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific.  Data for all divisions, as well as the 50 states, are available in the Regional and State Unemployment release (www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm#news).  Analysis in this news release reflects the use of model-based error measures when making comparisons with the U.S. and the prior year.  BLS uses a 90-percent confidence level in determining whether changes or differences in subnational unemployment rates are statistically significant.  Model-based error measures are available on the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov/lau/lastderr.htm.

This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone: (202) 691-5200, Federal Relay Services:  1-800-877-83


 

 

Table 1. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population for the U.S., New England, and the New England states, 2015-16 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
AreaCivilian labor forceEmployedUnemployedUnemployment rateError range of rate,
201520162015201620152016201520162016(1)

United States

157,130159,187148,834151,4368,2967,7515.34.94.8 - 4.9

New England

7,7957,8177,4127,4993833174.94.13.8 - 4.3

Connecticut

1,8911,8921,7821,796108965.75.14.5 - 5.7

Maine

68369165366430274.43.93.3 - 4.4

Massachusetts

3,5803,5893,4063,4561741334.93.73.3 - 4.1

New Hampshire

74374971872725213.42.82.5 - 3.2

Rhode Island

55455252052333296.05.34.7 - 6.0

Vermont

34534533333412113.63.32.9 - 3.6

Footnotes:
(1) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.
 

Note: Data refer to place of residence. Unemployment rates are in percent and are based on unrounded levels. Data for subnational areas reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. As a result, they will not add to U.S. totals.
 

Table 2. Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by region and division, 2015-16 annual averages (Numbers in thousands)
Census region and divisionCivilian labor forceEmployedUnemployedUnemployment rateError range of rate,
201520162015201620152016201520162016(1)

Northeast

28,34228,39726,85027,0411,4931,3575.34.84.6 - 4.9

New England

7,7957,8177,4127,4993833174.94.13.8 - 4.3

Middle Atlantic

20,54820,58119,43819,5411,1101,0395.45.14.8 - 5.3

South

57,27158,14554,25055,3063,0212,8395.34.94.8 - 5.0

South Atlantic

30,44130,99228,77429,4931,6671,4995.54.84.7 - 5.0

East South Central

8,4598,5767,9708,1214894555.85.35.0 - 6.0

West South Central

18,37118,57717,50617,6928668854.74.84.6 - 5.0

Midwest

34,46034,71432,79033,0931,6711,6214.84.74.5 - 4.8

East North Central

23,32323,53622,10122,3561,2221,1805.25.04.8 - 5.2

West North Central

11,13811,17810,68810,7374494414.03.93.7 - 4.2

West

36,87937,48634,77235,5742,1081,9125.75.14.9 - 5.3

Mountain

11,42511,63810,84511,1065805325.14.64.3 - 4.8

Pacific

25,45425,84823,92624,4671,5281,3806.05.35.1 - 5.5

Footnotes:
(1) Error ranges are shown at the 90-percent confidence level and are based on unrounded data.
 

Note: Data for subnational areas reflect revised population controls and model reestimation. As a result, they will not add to U.S. totals. Unemployment rates are in percent and are based on unrounded levels.

Regions are defined as the four Census regions, comprised as follows:

Northeast Region includes the New England Division - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont; and the Middle Atlantic Division - New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

South Region includes the South Atlantic Division - Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; East South Central Division - Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee; and West South Central Division - Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Midwest Region includes the East North Central Division - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; and the West North Central Division - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

West Region includes the Mountain Division - Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and the Pacific Division - Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

 

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, April 18, 2017