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May 24, 2022

Greater Worcester unemployment falls to 3.5%, despite shrinking labor force

Photo/Courtesy of UMass Memorial Health Healthcare workers at UMass Memorial

Although Worcester metro area unemployment dropped 0.4 percentage points from March to April, the region’s labor force also shrank considerably, falling below figures from April 2021.

The unemployment rate in the Worcester metropolitan area, which includes Worcester County and Windham County, Conn., fell to 3.5% in April down from 3.9% in March, according to a Tuesday report from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. 

Greater Worcester has the second-lowest unemployment rate of metro areas in the state, ranking after Boston-Cambridge-Nashua’s 3.0%. It’s below the statewide average, which was 4.1% in April, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force in the Worcester region fell to 351,164 in April, about 7,600 smaller than March and 3,900 smaller than April 2021. Most metro areas in Massachusetts saw similar decreases, with a statewide loss of about 70,000 jobs from March to April. 

The Leominster-Gardner metropolitan area unemployment rate fell from 4.6% in March to 4.0% in April, now three percentage points lower than a year ago. The region had the fourth-largest percentage increase in jobs gained among Massachusetts metro areas, rising 1.2% with an addition of 600 jobs in April.

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