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News Release Information

Monday, June 29, 2015

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

Unemployment in the Boston Area by Division - April 2015

Unemployment Rates Declined in all Divisions over the Year

In April, the Framingham division reported the lowest unemployment rate in the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H. Metropolitan New England City and Town Area (NECTA), at 3.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem division had the highest unemployment rate at 5.8 percent. Among the 10 metropolitan divisions in the Boston area, 9 had jobless rates below the 5.1-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 April 2015, all 10 divisions in the Boston area had lower unemployment rates than in April 2014. Nine divisions had decreases that were greater than the national rate of decline (-0.8 percentage point) led by Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem (-1.8 points). The jobless rate decline in the Nashua division matched the national decline.

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass,-N.H. Metropolitan NECTA and its divisions, not seasonally adjusted
AreaUnemployment ratesNet change from
April 2013April 2014April 2015April 2013 to April 2015April 2014 to April 2015

United States


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

Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass. Division

Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass. Division

Framingham, Mass. Division

Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H.  Division

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

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

Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass. Division

Peabody-Salem-Beverly, Mass. Division

Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Mass. Division

New Hampshire

Nashua, N.H.-Mass. Division

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

Unemployment rates in all 10 of the Boston area divisions were lower in April 2015 than in April 2013. The Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem division (-3.5 percentage points) had the largest rate of decline followed by the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton division (-2.9 points). The Nashua division had the smallest rate of decline at 1.5 percentage points. Unemployment rate declines in the other seven divisions ranged from 2.6 to 2.0 percentage points. Nationally, the jobless rate declined 2.0 percentage points over the two-year period.

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and areas 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. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

Area definitions.  The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget dated February 28, 2013.  A detailed list of geographic definitions is available at Areas in the six New England states are defined as Metropolitan New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs), while areas in other states are county-based and identified as metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions. However, for comparative purposes, the Boston NECTA and its divisions have been referred to as a metropolitan area and metropolitan divisions

The Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Mass.-N.H. Metropolitan New England City and Town Area (NECTA) includes:  Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.; Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Mass.; Framingham, Mass.; Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury Town, Mass.-N.H.; Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, Mass.-N.H.; Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Mass.-N.H.; Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead, Mass.; Nashua, N.H.-Mass.; Peabody-Salem-Beverly, Mass.; Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Mass.; 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:  (800)-877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Monday, June 29, 2015