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February 3, 2022

Greater Worcester unemployment rate drops to 3.6%, near pre-pandemic level

Volturno PIzza Napoletana in Worcester

Greater Worcester’s unemployment rate dropped more than one percentage point in December, hitting 3.6%. That's the lowest unemployment rate since the coronavirus pandemic struck, according to a report Wednesday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

December’s rate was a significant decrease from November’s rate of 4.7%. It also marks the lowest unemployment rate since BLS’s March 2020 report, which recorded a 3.4% rate before the pandemic’s economic fallout pushed it up to 14.7%.

The Greater Worcester region, which encompasses Worcester County and part of northern Connecticut, is in line with the statewide unemployment trends, as Massachusetts' jobless rate decreased from 5.2% in November to 3.9% in December.

While unemployment fell steadily through 2021, the region’s labor force still hasn’t fully bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. 

Through most of 2019, the labor force teetered around 359,000 in Greater Worcester, but has remained around 350,000 throughout the last year. In December, the labor force lost nearly 4,300 individuals. With 351,457 workers in total, the labor force is roughly 8,000 people smaller than it was in February 2020, before the pandemic.

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