Tag Archives: employment



BOSTON –  Massachusetts Secretary of Labor & Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein was elected to serve as president of the National Association of Government Labor Officials (NAGLO) last week at the association’s annual conference held in Boston.

NAGLO is a bi-partisan professional association representing Secretaries, Commissioners, and Directors of Labor for each state and territory of the United States. As president, Secretary Goldstein will lead NAGLO’s effort to promote shared ideas and best practices in protecting the nation’s workforce.

“NAGLO sets the stage to exchange new and diverse ideas from across the country’s top labor officials,” said Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) Secretary Goldstein. “It’s an honor to be elected by my peers, and I am eager to collaborate with members to tackle the unique workforce challenges and opportunities we face in our home states as well as throughout the country.”

“Secretary Goldstein continues to be a tremendous advocate for job seekers and employers as we move our Commonwealth forward,” said Governor Deval L. Patrick. “I congratulate Joanne on this new leadership role with NAGLO, and I know she will do right by Massachusetts and the country.”

Secretary Goldstein succeeds Virginia’s Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry, Courtney Malveaux. “I am pleased that Secretary Goldstein has stepped in to lead NAGLO as it celebrates its 100th anniversary,” said outgoing NAGLO President Malveaux. “Secretary Goldstein is truly a public servant, a valued partner and a good friend.  I am confident she will lead the group well.”

Last week, Secretary Goldstein hosted the 2013 NAGLO Annual Conference in Boston from July 29 through July 31. The conference featured keynote speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor and many states as well as a series of presentations discussing worker misclassification, wage collection, apprenticeship and training, unemployment, prevailing wage, new technology and best practices among other topics. During the conference, Secretary Goldstein moderated a panel discussion titled “Addressing Worker Misclassification: A Win-Win for Business, Labor, and the Public.

EOLWD works on behalf of job seekers, apprentices, union members, claimants, employers, and researchers. Secretary Goldstein oversees a wide variety of programs and services to serve constituents across the Commonwealth, including the recent deployment of over $10 million in grants announced this summer to support workforce training for local employers and job seekers. Looking ahead, EOLWD anticipates further grant awards through the Workforce Training Fund, Health Care Workforce Transformation Fund, and other sources and releasing the annual report on the underground economy and employee misclassification by the fall 2013.

For more information about EOLWD, visit www.mass.gov/lwd. To learn more about NAGLO, visit www.naglo.org.

McDonald’s on Woo’s Greenwood Street/Rt 20 is where I get a daily cup of coffee …

By Rosalie Tirella

… I support InCity Times’ small businesses, but I drink the McDonald’s java once a day cuz it’s Newman’s own! Which means it is Fair Trade, organic and possibly even shade-grown coffee. And the profits Newman’s make all go to the late Paul Newman’s charity, the Hole in the Wall Gang camps for kids with cancer. Plus the coffee is delicious and cheap. Up until a week ago, a LARGE cup cost just $1. It is now around $1.25. Still a great bargain for an excellent, socially responsible product.

My neighborhood McDonald’s is also where I see my favorite coffee guy in the drive-through window (see his photo below!). This kid is lovely! Beautiful smile – I mean a smile as dazzling as our President’s! He is also: Neat, hard working, polite … . AND He is always so accommodating – no matter how high maintenance I get (“Oops! too much cream! Almost black but not quite! Just a smidgen of cream! Let me taste it before I drive off.  Did you add sugar? I asked for no sugar, right? Do you think you could put the coffee in my travel mug? I am trying to shrink my carbon foot print to zero … . This is fair trade coffee, right? May I have extra napkins? May I have more extra napkins?”) This guy never gets annoyed with me – it is comforting to see his face in the midst of the usual crazy InCity Times rocket ride!

Doesn’t a great worker like this guy deserve to earn more than $8 or so bucks an hour? Doesn’t a young man who excels at his job deserve to be making $10 or $11 or #12 at it? So if he is living at home, he can move out and begin an independent life of his own and his parents can enjoy their middle age? Most of the jobs being created in this country are in the food service industry – fast food. This speaks volumes about America (depressing). And those jobs are held (contrary to myth) by adults who have apartments, families, etc. And young people who may have the job for several years and, like adults, have their own dreams. Like living in your own pad, with your own car and having a life of your own.

Why must we oppress so many good people with depressed wages? Part time work with no benefits? Work places that TELL THEIR workers to take advantage of govt benefits like food stamps, medicaid, etc? Why can’t we treat people fairly?

I sometimes go INSIDE the  McDonald’s for my coffee. Boy oh boy do the workers there hustle! The McD’s of yesteryear is gone. Now there are about 100 menu items! Desserts! Salads! Ice cream! Oatmeal. Pancakes. Even breakfast breads. Fancy coffee house drinks, too! Ones that require whipped cream and mint flavoring. The workers need to fill every fancy request as fast as they did when there were only burgers and drinks on the menu. A fast-paced, stressful work environment does not begin to describe the present-day McDonalds. Or any fast food joint.

Here are some great pieces on the national movement to raise the wages of the men and women who work in the fast food industry:

click here!

and here!

and here!

Here is my coffee guy:











Power to the people! Go, Sarai! Go, Robert!

District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera caught this item on tomorrow’s city council agenda and forwarded it to Robert Thomas, a biz leader in the African American community, and he forwarded it, with an INCREDIBLY HONEST intro, to folks in Worcester. Got to me! Kudos, Robert and Sarai!!

Rivera has said at city council meetings that more doors need to be opened in city departments to people of color. At some meetings she has expressed  confidence in City Manager Mike O’Brien – said she met with him about the city’s hiring policy and that O’Brien was all ears. Don’t bet on it, Ms. Rivera! O’Brien could be ‘Yessing’ you, only to do exactly what the city has been doing for decades – LOCKING PEOPLE OUT! We bumped into O’Brien during the Save Our City Pools debate and he promised me that none of  the city’s neighborhood pools would be closed. He was polite and charming. I believed him! Next month the city’s inner-city and neighborhood pools were shut down.


It is good that Sarai’s on top of this and she sent the info to Robert … Read his message below. It kicks butt!!!

When I visit City Hall, I wanna see more people of color working there – and fewer gals who are eye candy, walking unsteadily on hooker sandals! But, hey, that’s why they got hired in the first place! They are replacing the older Irish broads still at City Hall who got their jobs years ago because they were connected to some city politican.

Pathetic. Visit Boston or Hartford or Springfield and see minority hiring in action. Good, capable people of color working in their cities – and doing a great job! For Worcester, I wanna see more Vietnamese folks, more African American ladies, more middle-aged ladies, more Latinos, etc. at desks in City Hall – also in classrooms in our public schools! We need MORE OF WHAT WORCESTER LOOKS LIKE!!!

Anyways, here is Robert Thomas’ call to action!

Go, Sarai! Go, Robert!

Residents of Worcester,
Please get the word out, we need a turn out. Tuesday’s city council meeting, the system will be abusing local citizens again. Please read the link below, item 11b and its attachment. What you see will astonish you. Please exercise your rights. Come and speak out on this issue, if you truly care about jobs. In the last 3 years alone the City of Worcester has hired 82 non-residents in decent paying jobs that our local citizens should have. The 82 non-resident hires, does not include similar hires by the: Police, Fire or School departments. Do whatever you can, to make the meeting for a short period of time. Councilor Rivera will request  a change order of business to get us up early. Try to arrive as close 6:00 as possible. Tell a friend, they are up to it again. Remember, power yield nothing without force. We need to ask the question; what are you going to do about this situation? SEE THE LINK BELOW!!!!!
Yours for a better Worcester and World,
Robert Thomas

Veteran Expo pairs veterans with services

Boston – The Department of Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Bedford VAMC are partnering with the MA Department of Veteran Services and the community to host a benefit and job Expo for those who have served our nation. The Veterans Expo will have many federal, state, and local agencies on hand to explain benefits and programs available to assist Veterans with their transition back into civilian life.

“This event will bring together many government service agencies under one roof to assist our returning service men and women with navigating the often-times confusing benefits process,” said Michael M. Lawson, Director of VA Boston Healthcare System. “These men and women need jobs, support, and answers to their benefit questions; this is just the venue to provide that and much more.”

The Expo will also feature seminars throughout the day on Accessing VA benefits, Life after Deployment, Women Veterans Healthcare, Financial Planning, Communication for Couples, and more.

“Veterans have earned a wealth of benefits from their government and their communities. Ready access to those benefits is an on-going task and the VA Outreach team is there to help our Vets clear a path right through those obstacles,” said David Hencke, Outreach Coordinator for VA Boston Healthcare System. “This Expo is a high-energy, resource packed afternoon for anyone who has ever worn the uniform as well as their families and friends who support them.”

Veterans should bring their resume and proof of military service as there will be many businesses in attendance looking to employ Veterans. In addition, over 40 support agencies will be attending including the Mass. Department of Veteran and Career Services, Veterans Inc., US Department of Health and Human Services, American Consumer Credit Counsel, Army Wounded Warrior Program, Military Family Life Consultants, MA Spiritual Strength Network, Veterans Upward Bound, the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program and many more. For a comprehensive list of businesses and agencies that will be at the Expo visit our web site www.boston.va.gov.

While at the Expo, Veterans will be able to enroll for VA healthcare and meet with representatives from the Veterans Benefits Administration to learn about VA Home Loans, Educational / Post 911 GI Bill Benefits, VA Non-Service Connected Pension Benefits, Service Connected Compensation Benefits from injuries related to military service and Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) Benefits. In addition, Veterans will be able to enroll in eBenefits which is a collaboration between the Department of Defense and VA. Our online eBenefits is a one-stop shop for benefits-related on line tools and information.

The Expo is free and will be held at Bunker Hill Community College, from 1 p.m. – 8 p.m. on June 20th, at the Multi-Purpose Center, Building G, 250 New Rutherford Ave., Boston.

Senator Scott Brown is a coward

By Jay Chambers

It’s 6 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I’m being ushered out of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, DC. The Capitol Police have been great throughout the day, but it’s closing time and they’ve asked the hundred-or-so unemployed Massachusetts residents gathered here to call it a day.

Most of us came down by bus – a 9.5 hour drive that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend – to make our voices heard in Washington. We’ve been camping out in church basements, union halls, and tents set up along the National Mall (the downpour last night made the latter a hell of an experience.) And this morning, we marched half our crew of 250 Bay Staters down to the Dirksen building, straight to the office of our US Senator, Scott Brown.

See, Brown ran on a platform of job creation. He promised that jobs would be his top priority if we elected him to the US Senate, and that his policies were just the right recipe to put people back to work. That was almost two years ago, but from the stories my fellow travelers have shared over the last few days, I know a good chunk of them have been unemployed since then – some even longer. And for years now, we’ve all had the same question on our minds: where are the jobs?

Usually, we’d get to ask such a simple question at a town hall or public forum, the kind of event politicians host to give their constituents a chance to interact with the people who represent them – but not Scott Brown. This guy has been dodging us since he took office in February 2010, turning down every single invitation for a public discussion on the issues we elected him to work on.

So we all made the long trek from Massachusetts down to the nation’s capital, to ask Scott Brown face-to-face about the half-dozen jobs bills he’s voted to kill, along with the unemployment benefits most of us stand to lose at the stroke of midnight December 31 (Happy New Year from Scott Brown!)

There was an important vote on the session calendar today, so we knew Brown would be in the house. His staff has even confirmed it. But the man’s not coming out; he’s “unavailable to meet with constituents,” they told us. And so a dozen of us took seats in his office to wait Brown out, with a hundred other unemployed workers camped out in the hallway. Eight hours and two dozen interviews later, we were still holding strong, but Brown never showed face. We didn’t even get a wave hello.

On my way out the door at 6:00pm, I’m now wondering why. Why would an elected leader ignore a personal visit from a hundred of his constituents – the ones who are most in need of his help? The answer came pretty quickly: Scott Brown is a coward.

Brown doesn’t want to face his constituents after voting eight times to end unemployment benefits, especially since he’ll likely do it again by year’s end. He’s afraid of what we’ll say about his votes for tax breaks for the corporations that shipped our jobs overseas. Our senator doesn’t want to answer the tough questions on why he’s cool with raising taxes on the middle class while pushing corporate welfare to the extreme.

No one forgets a coward, though. And those of us who are still struggling to find work certainly won’t forget what happened here today. One way or another, Brown will have to answer for his broken promises.

Jay Chambers is an unemployed ironworker and Boston Occupier from Charlestown.

Mass job stats


Jobs Decrease by 8,900 Mostly Due to Strike in the Information Sector

Boston –The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported this week that the August total unemployment rate decreased from 7.6 percent in July to 7.4 percent remaining well below the national rate of 9.1 percent, and the state’s lowest monthly rate since February 2009. Preliminary August job estimates show a decrease of 8,900 jobs, for a total of 3,235,600 jobs in Massachusetts. The August job estimates reflect approximately 6,100 striking workers in the Information sector who were not on company payrolls at the time of this survey.

Three of the ten private sectors added jobs in August with over-the-month gains in Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Other Services; and Construction. The August job loss follows a revised 10,400 job gain in July, previously reported as a 12,700 job gain.

Year-to-date (December 2010 to August 2011), 41,800 jobs have been added in the Bay State with 47,700 private sector jobs added. Over-the-year (August 2010 to August 2011), jobs are up 48,000, for a growth rate of 1.5 percent. Private sector jobs are up 52,900, for a growth rate of 1.9 percent with gains in eight of the ten sectors.

Employment Overview
Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 2,000 jobs (+0.4%) over-the-month. Of the component industries, Transportation and Warehousing gained the greatest number of jobs, 1,200 (+1.4%) followed by an increase of 900 jobs in Retail Trade (+0.3%), while Wholesale Trade lost 100 jobs (-0.1%). Over-the-year, jobs in Trade, Transportation and Utilities are up 7,000 (+1.3%) with Wholesale Trade gaining 1,400 (+1.1%) jobs and Retail Trade adding 3,700 (+1.1%) jobs.

Other Services added 700 (+0.6%) jobs over-the-month. Over-the-year, jobs in Other Services are up 3,900 (+3.3%).

Over-the-month, Construction gained 200 jobs (+0.2%). This sector has now posted job gains in six of the last eight months. Over-the-year, this sector has added 2,600 (+2.4%) jobs with gains in all component industries.

Mining and Logging employment remained unchanged both over-the-month and over-the-year.

Over-the-month, Information lost 6,000 jobs (-6.7%) due to a strike in telecommunications during this job survey period. The August loss also affected the over-the-year change which is now a loss of 1,300 jobs (-1.5%).

Leisure and Hospitality lost 2,100 jobs (-0.7%) over-the-month following a revised gain of 300 jobs in July. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation lost 1,600 jobs (-3.4%) while Accommodation and Food Services lost 500 jobs (-0.2%). Over-the-year, the sector has added 7,500 (+2.5%) jobs as the Accommodation and Food Services component added 10,200 (+4.0%) jobs.

Education and Health Services lost 1,100 jobs (-0.2%) over-the-month as the gain in Educational Services of 300 (+0.2%) jobs was offset by the 1,400 (-0.3%) job loss in Health Care and Social Assistance. Over-the-year this sector has added 13,900 (+2.1%) jobs as Health Care and Social Assistance gained 12,600 (+2.5%) jobs and Educational Services added 1,300 (+0.8%) jobs.

Manufacturing lost 800 jobs (-0.3%) over-the-month as Durable Goods lost 700 jobs (-0.4%) and Non-Durable Goods were down 100 jobs (-0.1%). From August 2010 to August 2011, Manufacturing has gained 4,600 (+1.8%) jobs with seven out of every ten job gains in Durable Goods.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services lost 700 jobs (-0.1%) over-the-month, the sector’s first monthly loss since November 2010. Within the sector, the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services component gained 300 jobs (+0.1%) while Administrative and Waste Services lost 600 jobs (-0.4%) and Management of Companies and Enterprises lost 400 jobs (-0.7%). Over-the-year, the sector has added 12,100 (+2.6%) jobs with 10,800 jobs (+4.4%) gained in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and 2,000 jobs (+1.3%) in Administrative and Support Services.

Financial Activities jobs were down by 400 (-0.2%) over-the-month. In July this sector added a revised 800 jobs. Over-the-year, jobs are up 2,600 (+1.3%) with a 1,500 (+0.9%) job gain in Finance and Insurance and a 1,100 (+2.8%) job gain in Real Estate, Rental and Leasing.

Government lost 700 jobs (-0.2%) due to the loss of 900 (-0.3%) jobs in Local Government. Over-the-year, Government jobs were down 4,900 (-1.1%) jobs as all three components had a loss.

Labor Force Overview
The August estimates show 3,212,100 Massachusetts residents were employed and 258,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,470,200. Over-the-month, 3,700 more residents were employed and 5,000 fewer residents were unemployed. Since October 2009, there are 43,700 more residents employed and 46,300 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force decreased by 2,600. Totals for August may not add exactly due to rounding.

The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households, while the job estimates are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two statistics for August exhibit different trends.

Latest job and unemployment estimates for MA

BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that the January seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were up in all twenty-two labor market areas reflecting seasonal trends. Statewide, the January seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 9.0 percent, an increase of 1.0 percentage point from the revised December rate of 8.0 percent.

Over-the-year, unemployment rates were lower in twenty of the twenty two areas. The Amherst and Tisbury rates were up. Over-the-year, the state unadjusted unemployment rate was down 0.6 of a percentage point from the 9.6 percent rate in January 2010.

In January seasonal influences resulted in over-the-month jobs losses in all twelve areas for which job estimates are published. However, over-the-year job gains were realized in nine of the areas while three had a loss. Job gains occurred in the New Bedford, Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Worcester; Barnstable, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Haverhill-North-Andover-Amesbury, Pittsfield, Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner and Springfield areas. The Peabody, Framingham, and Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford areas lost jobs.

The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate released on March 3rd showed a 5,600 job gain. The Commonwealth has added 33,800 jobs since December 2009. The seasonally adjusted statewide January unemployment rate of 8.3 percent was unchanged over-the-month and down 0.5 of a percentage point from the 8.8 percent rate in January 2010. The Massachusetts statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains well below the national rate of 9.0 percent.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

NOTES: The local area unemployment rates and labor force data have been revised for 2010; the revised estimates for 2006 through 2009 will be published on March 29, 2011. The labor area jobs data have been revised for 2009 and 2010.

The February 2011 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on March 17, 2011; local unemployment statistics will be released on March 29, 2011.

Tough times

By Chris Horton

Today it’s very hard to be a father, and that can be hard for everyone in the family.

For men, who see our ability to bring home a paycheck as a big part of what makes us a man, of what makes us worthy to belong to a family, not being able to provide for them can be devastating. But we are worth much more than that to our children. This is a good day for us and for our families to reflect on what we’re worth, what we bring, why we’re needed.

Times are hard, and it’s natural to feel that it’s our fault, our personal failure. The “great ones”, the ones who’ve made it and the ones who were “born on third base and think they hit a triple”, are trying to blame this disaster on us and get us blaming ourselves and on each other for it, but it’s really not our fault. When you’re struggling to survive and it’s not working, you have to keep on trying – and to do that well you have to take responsibility for the results you get. But when it’s not working no matter how hard you try because of things beyond your control, there’s nothing to be gained and everything to lose from beating yourself up, drugging yourself and taking it out on your family.

Unemployment levels are higher than at any time since the Great Depression. The De Facto Unemployment Rate (DUFR, calculated by the Center for Working Class Studies, counting everyone who would be working full time if they could but can’t) is hovering around 30%. And that’s not Dad’s fault. Continue reading Tough times