Cambridge Resident Labor Force and Unemployment

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Year FNCambridge Labor ForceCambridge Resident EmploymentCambridge Resident UnemploymentCambridge Resident Unemployment Rate(1)Statewide Rate(1)National Rate(1)
1974 518974743944580.0860.0720.056
1975 533204702162990.1180.1120.085
1976 531224765254700.1030.0950.077
1977 531444847646680.0880.0810.071
1978 509394798129580.0580.0610.061
1980 519004926526350.0510.0560.071
1981 530424995630860.0580.0640.076
1982 538275024335840.0670.0790.097
1983 541415105130890.0570.0690.096
1984 557995357122280.040.0480.075
1985 557905394518450.0330.0390.072
1986 563045450617980.0320.0380.07
1987 564005488615130.0270.0320.062
1988 536465235312930.0240.0330.055
1989 538025233514660.0270.040.053
1990 560095375322560.040.0630.056
1991 556495255130980.0560.0880.068
1992 558015266031410.0560.0880.075
1993 565315387126600.0470.0730.069
1994 573055506522400.0390.0620.061
1995 541365221919170.0350.0550.056
1996 545525301315390.0280.0460.054
1998 557275464910780.0190.0340.045
1999 559465484111050.020.0330.042
2001 598835823116520.0280.0370.047
2002 594885709123970.040.0530.058
2003 584675599224750.0420.0580.06
2004 575635546720960.0360.0520.055
2006 596085768319250.0320.0480.046
2007 607515894818030.030.0450.046
2008 617165954721690.0350.0540.058
2009 611015780432970.0540.0820.093
2010 598645665332110.0540.0830.097


  1. All unemployment rates seasonally unadjusted. 
  2. Two changes occurred in 1979. For the first time the table includes most employees of state and local government, and of non-profit pre-elementary, elementary and secondary schools, as well as certain domestic workers. In addition, data was incorporated for the first time for employees covered by the Compensation for Federal Employees law. Dues to these changes, prior year figures are not fully comparable. 
  3. In 1997 the state government changed the reporting locations for some state jobs to better reflect their location. 
  4. Changes in the Current Population Survey conducted by the U. S. Census Bureau related to implementation of Census 2000 affect the comparability of data from 2000 and subsequent years to data prior to 2000. 
  5. At the end of 2005 Unemployment Rate data was revised to reflect annual revisions, methodological changes and implementation of the 2000 Census inputs. Statewide data have been revised back to 1978 and sub-state data have been revised back to 1990. 
  6. As of April 2012 the 2007 through 2011 data was revised to incorporate the local area unemployment statistics program redesign initiative. For more information see the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics web site
  7. Data as of June 2012.

Source: Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Local Area Unemployment Statistics data series,, 2006; U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Unadjusted Unemployment Rate,

Current Unemployment Rate

For the current unemployment rate, visit the Labor Force and Unemployment Data Collection Tool on the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Economic Data Programs web site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does this information come from?

The information is provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. EOLWD obtains information on labor force, employment and unemployment from two separate programs. Data for the state derives from the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted each month by the US Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, the survey includes about 60,000 households, 2300 of which reside in Massachusetts. Data produced includes unemployment rates and demographic information on the labor force. Data for the substate areas such as labor market areas, counties, and cities and towns is produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) Program. LAUS is a Federal-state cooperative program, operated under guidelines from the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What method is used to compute these rates?

Prior to 1987 DET used a census share methodology. This fixed a city's or town's proportion of unemployed to that found by the U. S. Census in the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Starting in 1987 DET implemented a method based upon the number of persons claiming unemployment benefits who reside in a specific city or town. Figures used by both methodologies are periodically benchmarked to the current population estimates for cities and towns released by the CPS. A new series of post decennial census population estimates are generally released every two years. The CPS estimates can exhibit significant fluctuation from release to release.

Do these rates change over time?

Yes. The Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance periodically restates the figures for towns and cities based upon late arriving data, changes in methodology and benchmarking to new population estimates. National and state figures may be periodically restated for similar reasons.

What population of workers does the table cover?

This table provide information about residents of the Cambridge workforce; it does not refer to persons who work in Cambridge but who do not live there. The only workers included are those covered by either of the two laws cited above.

For More Information

For additional information, see the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Home Page hosted by the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Labor Force and Unemployment Data Collection Tool on the Department of Workforce Development Economic Data Programs web site.

For more information about socioeconomic and demographic statistics about Cambridge, please contact Cliff Cook,, Planning Information Manager, at 617/349-4656.