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Boston Unemployment Rate

Boston Unemployment Rate

Boston, Massachusetts has a wide array of industries and job opportunities. Despite the severe economic downturn that began in 2008, Boston's unemployment rate has remained below the national average. Today, the city offers opportunities across a variety of industries and professional sectors.

Recent Unemployment in Boston
Boston's diverse economy allowed it to remain relatively impervious to the high unemployment rate that plagued many US cities over the past four years. While the Boston unemployment rate did increase during this time, its average was still below the US average employment rate. In 2015, Boston's unemployment rate has continued to drop from 4.6 to a low of 3.8 percent in May, which is lower than the 4.6 percent statewide average.

Recovery from the 2008 Recession
Boston's recovery from the Great Recession is steadfast. The city is home to many Fortune 500 companies including Liberty Mutual, Boston Scientific Corporation and State Street Corporation, as well as several other companies that are headquartered in the surrounding suburbs.

The ability of these companies to recover from the recession allows Boston businesses to hire more people than other cities around the country. Even through tough times, the city remained the 12th largest economy in the world and the sixth largest economy in the United States.

Thriving Industries in Boston
Since the city's incorporation, Boston has served as a leading port worldwide; it is home to one of the largest international shipping destinations to this day.

Other sectors of the economy that continue to see profits are financial services, biotechnology, education, publishing, healthcare, and technology. Staffing industries have also been a large part of the recent Boston workforce boom; they search for candidates with employers from across the country, often recruiting hard-to-find talent in the healthcare and technology industries.

Tourism recovered exceptionally well post-recession; Boston has remained one of the hottest tourist destinations for domestic and international travelers.

Recent Boston Commercial Successes
Boston is a hotbed of new startup companies due to its proximity to graduates from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These startups, mainly networking and software companies, aim to provide solutions for corporations around the country. Boston is second only to Silicon Valley in terms of startup growth and profitability.

One such example is Acacia Communications, Inc., a Boston area startup that provides networking solutions using the cloud. It grew from $300,000 in revenue to over $77 million in revenue in only four years.

Industries in Recession
Declining industries in Boston are relatively scant; manufacturing was hit hardest by the recession, a decline that aligned with the industry’s overall collapse nationally. 

Other industries that are experiencing a drop in demand include many blue-collar industries such as welding, woodworking, painting, flooring, bricklaying, brick masonry and telemarketing. Construction industries were also hit hard during the recession, in keeping with the national trend; development in Boston has since recovered. 

Current Boston Rankings
According to recent Forbes rankings, Boston is 45th on the list as the best place to do business in the country. This heavily influences the job growth rate, which stands at 1.5 percent annually. Projected job growth in the future is 1.7 percent, while the high-tech sectors enjoy a projected job growth rate of 4.7 percent.

The cost of doing business has ranked Boston at 199th on the Forbes list, due to the relatively high startup costs for brick-and-mortar facilities and higher cost of living, driven primarily by escalating real estate prices.

A key measure of labor supply, the national unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of the total labor force that is unemployed but actively seeking employment and willing to work. Use the links below to see unemployment trends from the 28 major metropolitan markets:



Atlanta Detroit New York City San Francisco
Boston Houston Philadelphia Seattle
Chicago Los Angeles Pittsburgh Washington, D.C.


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