Department of Numbers

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Massachusetts Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Boston rose 0.1 percentage points in July 2021 to 5.5%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.6 percentage points higher than the Massachusetts rate. The unemployment rate in Boston peaked in April 2020 at 15.9% and is now 10.4 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 5.2% in May 2021, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.3 percentage points. You can also compare Boston unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate July 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 5.4% -0.5 -4.8
Massachusetts 4.9% 0.0 -4.9
Boston 5.5% +0.1 -4.0
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with July 2021 data as August metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Boston, Massachusetts, National

Boston, Massachusetts monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Boston, Massachusetts Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Boston peaked in May 2020 at 405,458. There are now 252,774 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 143,663 in May 2021, the number of unemployed has now grown by 9,021. Boston employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Boston, Massachusetts) is also available.

Unemployed Persons July 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Boston 152,684 +4,975 -100,812

Number of Unemployed Persons

Boston, Massachusetts Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Massachusetts
Unemployment Rate
Boston
Unemployment Rate
Boston
Unemployed
August
2021
5.2%
July
2021
5.4% 4.9% 5.5% 152,684
June
2021
5.9% 4.9% 5.4% 147,709
May
2021
5.8% 5.0% 5.2% 143,663
April
2021
6.1% 6.4% 6.2% 171,247
March
2021
6.0% 6.7% 6.6% 181,739
February
2021
6.2% 7.0% 7.0% 194,116
January
2021
6.3% 7.8% 7.4% 206,624
December
2020
6.7% 8.4% 7.9% 220,503
November
2020
6.7% 8.4% 7.9% 219,734
October
2020
6.9% 8.5% 8.1% 221,613
September
2020
7.8% 8.9% 8.4% 230,435

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.