MA Unemployment Continues Decline, Slower than Some States

 by Tom MarinoNovember 5, 2020

For the twentieth straight week, continued claims declined during the week ending October 31, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

Continued claims declined by 11,575 or 4.8 percent. There were 228,704 continued claims during the week.

New initial claims declined by 8,356 over the previous week. There were a total of 38,814 new initial claims statewide.

Decreases were seen in almost all sectors except two which had slight over-the-week increases.

There were 38,814 new claims during the week. A total of 1,507,759 initial claims for regular UI have been filed since March 15.

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting saw 15 more initial claims during the week ending October 31, for a total of 142. Arts, Entertainment & Recreation saw five more initial claims, for a total of 552 during the week.

The largest decrease in the number of claims came in the Professional and Technical Services. New initial claims declined in the sector by 1,261, a 24.2% decrease. There were 3,941 new initial claims in the sector.

The largest percentage based decrease came in the Real Estate sector, which saw a decrease of 186 claims, a 25.6% decrease. Initial claims in the Real Estate sector were 532 total initial claims.

SEE BELOW: New Initial Claims by Industry Sector

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the week ending October 31, at 10,779 were 1,383 claims fewer than the previous week.

Since April 20, 2020, 848,073 claimants have filed an initial claim for the PUA.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provided up to 13 weeks of extended benefits, was implemented on May 21.  For the fifth week in a row, PEUC claims filed for the week of October 25 to October 31, at 13,362 initial claims filed were down, decreasing by 2,470 over the previous week.

Since implementation, PEUC filings now total 284,256.

Massachusetts Employment Recovery Slower Than Other States

Of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the state of Massachusetts ranked 49th in recovery in the week ending October 26, according to a new study published by

Only Illinois and Kansas had a worse recovery in the most recent week.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the study finds Massachusetts the 25th most recovered state in the U.S. That is just behind Ohio (23) and North Dakota (24) and just in front of the District of Columbia (26) and Maryland (27).

The most recovered state both in the last week and since the start of the pandemic is Oregon. Connecticut is second since the start of the pandemic.

Vermont is second most recovered in the last week.

Since the start of the pandemic, Florida and Georgia have been the least recovered states.

See the full study and its methodology.


New Initial Unemployment Claims by Sector

Industry Week Ending 10/24 Week Ending 10/31 Change % Change
Agriculture, Forestry,
Fishing and Hunting
127 142 15 11.8%
Mining 15 12 -3 -20.0%
Utilities 216 214 -2 -0.9%
Construction 2,137 2,022 -115 -5.4%
Manufacturing 2,754 2,233 -521 -18.9%
Wholesale Trade 1,824 1,387 -437 -24.0%
Retail Trade 2,989 2,455 -534 -17.9%
Transportation &
953 775 -178 -18.7%
Information 1,137 906 -231 -20.3%
Finance & Insurance 3,130 2,442 -688 -22.0%
Real Estate 715 532 -183 -25.6%
Professional and
Technical Services
5,203 3,942 -1,261 -24.2%
Management of Companies 339 273 -66 -19.5%
Administrative &
Waste Services
1,713 1,604 -109 -6.4%
Education 3,223 2,501 -722 -22.4%
Health & Social Assistance 5,903 4,864 -1,039 -17.6%
Arts, Entertainment &
547 552 5 0.9%
Food & Accommodation 2,070 2,011 -59 -2.9%
Other Services 2,164 1,724 -440 -20.3%
Public Administration 3,964 3,375 -589 -14.9%
Information Not Available 6,047 4,848 -1,199 -19.8%
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