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News Release Information

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (646) 264-3623

Unemployment in the Boston Area by Division - October 2014

Unemployment Rates Declined in all Divisions over the Year

In October, the Nashua division reported the lowest unemployment rate in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. Metropolitan New England City and Town Area (NECTA), at 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the Lawrence-Methuen-Salem division had the highest unemployment rate at 8.0 percent. Among the nine divisions in the Boston area, seven had jobless rates below the 5.5-percent U.S. average. (See chart 1. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains the metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)


In October 2014 all nine divisions in the Boston area had lower unemployment rates than in October 2013. Eight divisions had a decrease greater than the national rate of decline (-1.5 percentage point) led by Lawrence-Methuen-Salem (-3.0 points). The jobless rate decline in the Framingham division matched that of the nation over the year.

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass,-N.H. Metropolitan NECTA and its divisions, not seasonally adjusted
AreaUnemployment ratesNet change from
October 2012October 2013October 2014October 2012 to October 2014October 2013 to October 2014

United States


Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass,-N.H. Metropolitan NECTA

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. Division

Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. Division

Framingham, Mass. Division

Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Mass,-N.H.  Division

Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, Mass,-N.H. Division


Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Mass,-N.H. Division

Peabody, Mass. Division

Taunton-Norton-Raynham, Mass. Division

New Hampshire

Nashua, N.H,-Mass. Division

NOTE: State and local area data are preliminary for the most recent month

Jobless rates in all nine of the Boston area divisions were below their October 2012 levels. Only Lawrence-Methuen-Salem (-2.5 percentage points) had a decrease greater than the national rate of decline (-2.0 points). Framingham had the smallest rate of decline since October 2012 at 0.9 percentage point. Unemployment rate declines in the other seven divisions ranged from -1.0 percentage point in Boston-Cambridge-Quincy to -1.6 point in both the Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury and Nashua divisions.

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions.  The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis.  The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over.  Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation.  Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed.  The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons.  The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Method of estimation.  The LAUS program is a hierarchy of non-survey methodologies for indirectly estimating employment and unemployment in states and local areas. Statewide data are produced through a modeling technique that uses estimates of payroll jobs from the Current Employment Statistics survey and unemployment insurance claims counts from the state workforce agencies to mitigate volatility in the direct CPS tabulations of employment and unemployment, respectively. Data for labor market areas, such as metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, are produced through a building block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. Data for counties within labor market areas are produced through a disaggregation technique. A detailed description of the LAUS estimation procedures is available in chapter 4 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at

Annual revisions.  Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates.  The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation.

Area definitions: The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. Metropolitan New England City and Town Area (NECTA) includes nine NECTA divisions--subdivisions of the larger NECTA which function as distinct social, economic, and cultural areas within the larger region. The NECTA divisions that compose the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH NECTA include:  Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, MA, Framingham, MA, Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH, Lawrence-Methuen-Salem, MA-NH, Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH, Nashua, NH-MA, Peabody, MA, Taunton-Norton-Raynham, MA, and select cities and towns within.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service:  1-800-877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, January 08, 2015