Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Latest Mass job stats

Boston –The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today that preliminary November estimates show an increase of 5,000 jobs in Massachusetts, for a total of 3,245,400 jobs. The total unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, down 0.3 of a percentage point from the October rate of 7.3 percent, and well below the national rate of 8.6 percent. It is the lowest monthly rate since December of 2008.

Six of the ten private sectors added jobs in November with gains in Leisure and Hospitality; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Education and Health Services; Financial Activities; Professional, Scientific and Business Services; and Other Services. The November job gain follows a revised 11,900 job gain in October originally reported as 10,800.

Year-to-date (December 2010 to November 2011), 51,600 jobs have been added in the Bay State with 56,400 private sector jobs added. Over-the-year (November 2010 to November 2011), jobs are up 55,600, a growth rate of 1.7 percent, with private sector jobs up 59,900, for a growth rate of 2.2 percent. Over-the-year, the national rate of job growth is 1.2 percent with private sector job growth up 1.7 percent.

Employment Overview

Leisure and Hospitality added 4,300 (+1.4%) jobs over-the-month with gains in Accommodation and Food Services and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation. Over-the-year, the sector has added 6,400 (+2.1%) jobs as the Accommodation and Food Services component added 8,300 (+3.2%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 3,000 (+0.5%) jobs over-the-month with gains in Retail Trade and Wholesale Trade. Over-the-year, jobs in Trade, Transportation and Utilities are up 9,500 (+1.7%) with Retail Trade adding 6,100 (+1.8%) jobs, Wholesale Trade gaining 2,600 (+2.1%) jobs and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities adding 800 jobs (+1.0%).

Education and Health Services added 900 (+0.1%) jobs over-the-month as both components recorded gains. Educational Services added 600 (+0.4%) jobs and Health Care and Social Assistance gained 300 (+0.1%) jobs. Over-the-year this sector has added 6,500 (+1.0%) jobs.

Financial Activities jobs were up 700 (+0.3%) over-the-month with a gain in Real Estate, Rental and Leasing. Over-the-year, jobs are up 3,500 (+1.7%) with a 1,200 (+0.7%) job gain in Finance and Insurance and a 2,300 (+5.8%) job gain in Real Estate, Rental and Leasing.

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 500 (+0.1%) jobs over-the-month, the sector’s twelfth consecutive monthly gain. Within the sector, both Administrative Services and Waste Services and Management of Companies and Enterprises added jobs. Over-the-year, the sector has added 22,900 (+5.0%) jobs.

Other Services added 400 (+0.3%) jobs over-the month. Over-the-year, jobs are up 4,400 (+3.8%).

Over-the-month, Mining and Logging employment remained unchanged while losing 100 (-8.3%) jobs over-the-year.

Over-the-month, Construction lost 1,400 (-1.3%) jobs. Over-the-year, this sector has added 1,900 (+1.8%) jobs with gains in Specialty Trade Contractors, Construction of Buildings, and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction.

Manufacturing lost 1,400 (-0.5%) jobs over-the-month with losses in both Durable Goods and Non-Durable Goods. From November 2010 to November 2011, Manufacturing jobs are up 2,800 (+1.1%) with most of the gain in Non-Durable Goods.

Over-the-month, Information jobs were down 200 (-0.2%), but over-the-year, the sector has added 2,100 (+2.5%) jobs.

Over-the-month, Government lost 1,800 (-0.4%) jobs. Local Government lost 1,300 (-0.5%) jobs. Federal Government was down 300 (-0.6%) jobs while State Government lost 200 jobs (-0.2%). Over-the-year, Government jobs were down 4,300 (-1.0%).

Labor Force Overview

The November estimates show 3,251,500 Massachusetts residents were employed and 244,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,495,700. The labor force increased by 4,700 from 3,491,000 in October, as 13,900 more residents were employed and 9,200 fewer residents were unemployed over-the-month. Since October 2009, there are 83,100 more residents employed and 60,200 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force increased by 22,900. Totals for November 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 November exhibit different trends.

Maximum weekly benefit rate for new unemployment claims to increase

 Boston The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) today announced that the maximum weekly benefit rate for new unemployment claims filed on or after October 2, 2011 will increase from the current rate of $625 to $653.

Massachusetts law requires the maximum weekly benefit amount for unemployment insurance claimants to be revised annually based on the average weekly wage for the twelve months ending March 2011.  The average weekly wage in Massachusetts increased from $1,088.06 to $1,135.82.  By law, the maximum benefit rate equals 57.5 percent of the state’s annual average weekly wage, rounded to the next lowest dollar amount.

This new benefit rate will not affect the weekly benefit amount of individuals who have established new claims prior to October 2, 2011, but have not yet received benefits checks.

Unemployment insurance claimants in Massachusetts receive a weekly benefit amount of 50 percent of his or her average weekly wage up to the maximum weekly amount. 
For information on the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, please visit www.mass.gov/dua.

The New America

By Jack Hoffman

As unemployment grows, the poverty statistics grow with it. And the anger becomes greater. One wonders: When will the people take to the streets again?

Recently, on his radio talk show, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned “that if the national jobs crisis doesn’t end soon, the United States will soon see riots in the streets.”

Call it what you want, but the warnings of riots and revolution have been echoed all over the country in magazines, newspapers and talk on the radio and TV shows. Professor Thomas Kochan at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, certainly no bastion of liberalism, not only agrees with Mayor Bloomberg, but also was surprised there aren’t more visible signs of public anger/protests.

The real unemployment figure for the US has now reached a staggering 20%. And just how much is the real under-employment, meaning the figures on those who are now working a bare minimum of what they used to work and earn not so long ago. The figures I have used – and will use – are based on the US Dept. of Labor statistics. Recently, the job crisis has been inflamed with the new reports of poverty in America. That last statement is an obvious fact. If people are out of a job and working at a bare minimal wage – in many homes hamburger is now stretched thin with the addition of a crappy helper and in some cases dog food – they are POOR.

We here in the Bay State are fortunate compared to states like California, Nevada and parts of the Midwest that have double-digit unemployment. Places like Detroit and Milwaukee are almost wastelands compared to what they were 20 years ago. Here in Massachusetts we are more fortunate. Our unemployment figure for the past month has dipped from 7 ¾% to 7 ½%. In a recent Globe article is a listing of 15 town and cities where housing values have actually begun to rise.

I’m sure you all have heard the stories from neighbors, friends and within your own family. Take Bill Rickers of Hartford, Maine: In 1980 he fell through some boards while doing some carpentry work. He has since been unable to do any carpentry work. He has two college degrees. As a young man, Rickers worked as an electronics repairman, a pastor and a TV cameraman. He and his first wife had seven children. Now he receives food stamps, gets donations from a local food pantry store, and drives an 18-year-old car with 189,000 miles on it. About once every two months, as a treat, he goes out to lunch at a nearby lunch café.

After his accident Rickers was not able to tend to a three-unit apartment house he and his wife owned. They sold it, and bought a used trailer from the proceeds. If you think this is bad, he has serious back and shoulder injuries, his hands shake, he has congestive heart problems, asthma and arthritis. The stories go on and on.

That’s why I wasn’t so shocked when at a recent Republican debate Ron Paul was asked what do we do with folks like Ricker, who have no insurance — or any extra money Ricker has which is very little he uses for food. Mr. Paul’s answer was (in so many words): If he can’t get into a hospital he will just have to die.

At that moment there was a few dumb asses out there who actually applauded. I imagine some of the Tea Party/Fox TV crowd. I wasn’t surprised. Most likely the yelp and cheers came from the ones who love to raise the American flag on every holiday and consider themselves proud patriots.

Let the new figures speak for themselves:

Three out of four below the poverty line work; half have full-time jobs. One quarter work part-time. Only one quarter don’t work at all. So don’t give me that BS line “They should get a job.” 25% of all children, that’s 16.7 million, are living below the poverty line. 52% of all Americans, by the time they reach 65, will live in poverty. In one year, poverty has gone to 15% from 14.3%

Today there are 42 million Americans living in poverty. It has been more than 50 years since Edward R. Murrow telecast one of the most shocking and profound TV documentaries, A Harvest of Shame (poverty in America). That was a long time ago, and since then things have gotten worse.


Massachusetts Poverty Law Organization Urges Congress to Protect Federal Nutrition Programs during Deficit Negotiations

Boston – One in 9 households in Massachusetts struggled with hunger on average in the years 2008-2010, according to new data released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its annual report on food insecurity. Nationally, more than 48.8 million people lived in households that were food insecure in 2010.

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) pointed out that there has been a been a 35 percent increase in hunger in Massachusetts during the three years covering the heart of the recession compared to the three previous years. The increase demonstrates the downturn’s depth and impact on Massachusetts.

Among the 10.8 percent of households in Massachusetts considered to be food insecure during the 2008-2010 period, 4.5 percent were considered to have “very low food security.” People in this USDA category had more severe problems, experiencing deeper hunger and cutting back or skipping meals on a more frequent basis for both adults and children.

“We continue to see evidence of the struggles facing too many people in the Commonwealth. Congress must protect the federal nutrition programs and other parts of our nation’s safety net against deficit cutting measures,” said Patricia Baker, Senior Policy Analyst at MLRI. “Weakening these programs would cause irreparable harm to low-income people in Massachusetts and across the nation.”

The Massachusetts SNAP caseload has doubled since July of 2008, now serving over 450,000 households (representing over 833,000 individuals as of July 2011) – the majority of whom are low-income elders, persons with disabilities disabled and families with children. Food pantries and soup kitchens report significant growth in persons seeking emergency food, unable to make ends meet.

“Millions of Americans, including many in Massachusetts, continue to struggle to put food on the table. It is time to strengthen, not weaken the nation’s safety net,” said Ms. Baker. “There’s a reason that every bipartisan deficit reduction plan proposed over the past year – including those from Simpson-Bowles Commission and the Gang of Six – has made sure to keep nutrition programs intact and protected from cuts–and that’s because these programs are critical to the health and well-being of America’s children and families.”

Senator Scott Brown’s invite-only “jobs tour” can’t hide his anti-jobs voting record!

By Jason A Stephany

Since he took office February 4, 2010, US Senator Scott Brown has yet to host a public town hall or open forum. His schedule has included more than 250 stops for ribbon cuttings, groundbreaking ceremonies and photo opportunities – even a slew of book signings to market his autobiography. But Brown has yet to offer a single opportunity for Massachusetts taxpayers to gather in an open, public setting and ask questions of their senator.

So when aides to Brown announced he would tour the state to share his agenda and interact with constituents on job creation and economic development issues, it made headlines. After 18 months of private, scripted events, the commonwealth’s junior senator was finally coming out of his shell to discuss important issues at the forefront of everyone’s mind – or so we thought.

What Brown’s PR team actually meant was the senator would embark on yet another string of seemingly invitation-only private events, shaking hands with wealthy supporters and posing for photographs. Local residents hoping to discuss key issues with Brown were turned away by security at his first three “jobs tour” stops, after being told the events were closed to the public. Even reporters were barred from the actual tour portion of the day Friday, with staff citing “liability concerns.” Brown’s staff has refused to reveal key details about upcoming tour stops, and his spokesmen offered no comment when asked how constituents would be informed of future visits.

As it turns out, the statewide “jobs tour” isn’t really open to Brown’s constituents at all – not without a special invitation, at least. The events have been carefully scripted to allow Scott Brown to avoid serious questions on jobs, unemployment and the economy – whether from the media or the people who elected him. But why? What is Brown hiding from?

Perhaps Brown doesn’t want his constituents to know he voted eight times to end unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of Bay State residents who lost their jobs. Maybe he’s ashamed of his vote to give tax breaks to corporations that ship American jobs overseas, or his vote to cut more than 7,000 jobs for youth across the commonwealth. He might be wary of his support for budget plans that would cost us 17,000 new jobs and slash critical job training for 27,000 additional workers. It’s entirely possible Brown doesn’t want constituents to know he tried to filibuster his own bill to help Massachusetts small businesses create jobs in our growing tech sector.

With so many regrettable votes on the table, only Brown knows why he’s avoiding a true public conversation on jobs and the economy. But one thing is certain: Scott Brown has voted against the interests of Bay State workers time and time again, and this latest publicity stunt can’t hide his lengthy anti-jobs record from the people of Massachusetts.

Hospitals, Healthcare Workers and Patient Advocates Unite to Oppose Proposed Medicare and Medicaid Cuts

BOSTON – Leaders from across the Massachusetts healthcare spectrum are joining together today to oppose proposed Medicare and Medicaid funding cuts Congress is now considering as part of an agreement on national debt reduction.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS), and patient advocacy groupsHealth Care for All joined representatives from the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH), Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, Massachusetts Senior Care Association … at a press conference on the State House steps to sound the alarm on the serious unintended consequences such cuts would create for patients, caregivers and employees.

“The formula-driven, arbitrary budget targets that have been set out as potential elements of an agreement to reduce the national debt and increase the debt ceiling would result in across-the-board cuts to healthcare,” said Veronica Turner, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU. “Such cuts would be bad for care, bad for jobs, and bad for the overall economy.”

Lynn Nicholas, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), echoes Turner’s concerns: “Massachusetts hospitals are fully supportive of healthcare reform – including the reduction of costs where possible – as called for by both the Affordable Care Act and several of the state’s recent reform laws …. In fact, hospitals both here and across the country have made great progress in controlling costs and improving quality. But these proposed cuts would seriously damage the overall fiscal health of our hospitals, threaten access to care and well-paying jobs, and severely limit hospitals’ ability to provide training for the physicians of the future. ”

In Massachusetts, hospitals have reduced their anticipated healthcare cost increases by $3.1 billion in 2009 and 2010. Yet healthcare providers continue to be challenged by ongoing government underpayment for care provided through Medicare and Medicaid, and by increased administrative burdens the state Medicaid program now places on caregivers.

“The health of over one million Medicaid recipients in Massachusetts should not be a political bargaining chip,” said Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, executive director of Health Care for All. “We call on Congress and the President to show leadership by protecting this vital program in these challenging economic times.”

“Medicare and Medicaid are the cornerstones of our health care system,” added Lynda M. Young, MD, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We cannot support cuts that would undermine our patients’ well-being.”

“Federal cuts of this magnitude to the state’s Medicaid program would decimate our progress in providing Massachusetts residents with quality affordable healthcare coverage. This is a tragedy we cannot abide,” said the Rev. Hurmon Hamilton, Pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church and President of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.

Cuts to hospitals impede patient access to care in their communities. Hospitals alone are currently absorbing $155 billion in cuts over the next several years. Continued advances in healthcare payment and delivery reform, including access to high quality and affordable care, are greatly dependent on hospitals’ ability to invest in resources such as workforce and health information technology; these efforts are greatly endangered by the proposed federal funding cuts.

The proposed cuts include deep reductions to hospital Medicare reimbursement, Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, Medicare DSH funding, and eliminating or capping Medicaid provider taxes. All such funding is critical to the life-saving missions of Massachusetts hospitals and to our state’s coverage expansions.

Medicaid cuts would greatly impede the success we’ve made in covering 98% of Massachusetts residents.

Feds say MA could do more to stop drunken driving

This from today’s Boston Globe (Boston.com). We wholeheartedly agree with the Feds! Let’s get something started, Worcester!

– R. T.

By Boston Globe Staff:

“Federal transportation safety experts say Massachusetts is among the eight states that have done the least to stop hardcore drunken driving.

“The National Transportation Safety Board, which is holding a news conference Thursday on the measures that states can take, has made 11 recommendations intended to stop what the agency calls “hard core drinking driving,” which is defined as either driving with a prior DWI arrest or a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or more.

“Six states have implemented eight or more of the recommendations; 36 have implemented five or more. Eight, including Massachusetts, have implemented four or fewer, the NTSB said in a statement.

“The feds would like the state to enact, among other proposals, laws requiring convicted DWI offenders to maintain a zero blood alcohol level while driving; restricting the plea bargaining of a DWI offense to a lesser, non-alcohol-related offense; and eliminating diversion programs that would erase a DWI offense record or allow the offender to avoid license suspension.

“The agency said that in 2009, 7,607 of the of the 10,839 people killed in alcohol-related crashes were killed in accidents involving hardcore drunken drivers.”

MA unemployment/job stats

Jobs Decrease by 4,000 in May

Boston – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today that the total unemployment rate in May was 7.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent in April. The preliminary May job estimates show 3,224,800 jobs in Massachusetts, a decrease of 4,000 jobs. Government lost 2,600 jobs and the private sector lost 1,400.

Job gains occurred in Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Construction; Manufacturing; Education and Health Services; Other Services; and Information. Leisure and Hospitality; Government; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Financial Activities; and Mining and Logging lost jobs. The May job loss follows a revised 20,300 jobs gain in April, previously reported as a 19,500 job gain.

Over-the-year, jobs are up 27,500 (+0.9 percent) with private sector jobs up 44,800 (+1.6 percent). Year-to-date 31,000 jobs have been added in the Commonwealth with 39,200 in private sector jobs. Continue reading MA unemployment/job stats

A progressive’s view of the federal and MA state budgets

By Grace Ross

Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is that fabulous definition of crazy. Yet economically as a state and nationally as a country, we continue the same economic policies somehow expecting that the ones that got us into this economic crisis are going to get us out.

One of my pet peeves is elected officials who seem to think that their responsibility as our representatives is to balance the budget of the level of the government to which they were elected. In fact, every single one of us elected these folks expecting them to have an eye on their district’s economy as a whole and balance their level of government’s budget so as to improve our economic lives and realities not just their “isolated” bottom line.

We all knew that the federal government should not give money to the very banks that got us into this mess. Instead, Congress lent not just hundreds of billions publicly but the Federal Reserve Bank lent them tens of trillions guaranteed by us taxpayers. Yet, we knew the big banks still would not rewrite all the bad mortgages or lend so our small businesses survive.

Obviously, our elected leaders need a complete rethink of the purpose and focus of government budgets: what makes our economy thrive and what doesn’t, not satisfying the economic desires of a few.

It’s staggering to hear our present governor, Deval Patrick, express such outrage that Fidelity now plans to take 1,000 jobs out of state. Surprised? We’ve just been through the whole debacle of the $56 Million Evergreen Solar infrastructure and tax sweetheart deal. They are a local grown business that could have played a central role in rebuilding manufacturing in one of the few growing sectors: green energy. But like most corporate money deals, Evergreen was not actually bound to anything for our state residents; that same money could have subsidized regular people being able to afford solar panels and thus create a burgeoning market to incentivize Evergreen to manufacture and create jobs here! (Of course, the Governor himself is planning to cut more jobs.)

In the 1990s, our legislature passed whole sector tax cuts: the military industrial sector break (known as the “Raytheon tax” break) and the financial sector break known as, you guessed it, the “Fidelity tax” break. These tax breaks were sold as keeping (maybe creating) jobs in Massachusetts. History, however, shows that these jobs have dwindled in our state since those tax breaks. Studies also show that companies don’t move somewhere primarily for tax incentives. Continue reading A progressive’s view of the federal and MA state budgets

MA adds 15,400 jobs in February; unemployment rate drops to 8.2%

Boston – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported recently that the total [Massachusetts] unemployment rate in February was 8.2 percent, down 0.1 of a percentage point from the 8.3 percent January rate.

The rate remains below the national rate of 8.9 percent and is 0.6 of a percentage point less than the 8.8 percent rate in February 2010.

The preliminary February job estimates show 3,210,800 jobs in Massachusetts, an increase of 15,400 jobs, with the largest gain in Education and Health Services.

Job gains were also posted in Leisure and Hospitality; Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Other Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Financial Activities; while Manufacturing, Construction, and Government lost jobs. The February job gain follows a revised 1,600 jobs gain in January, previously reported as a 5,600 job gain. Over-the-year, jobs are up 33,500 (+1.1 percent) with private sector jobs up 37,000 (+1.4 percent).

The three-month average seasonally adjusted total unemployment rate was 8.3 percent as was the six-month average.

Over-the-year, the unemployment rate is down 0.6 of a percentage point with 29,900 more residents employed and 17,200 fewer residents unemployed. Trends for the labor force, unemployed residents, employed residents, the unemployment rate and jobs continue to indicate improvement for the Commonwealth’s economy.

Employment Overview

The Education and Health Services sector gained 6,500 jobs (+1.0 percent) due to Educational Services’ 5,200 seasonal job gain (+3.2 percent) and Health Care and Social Assistance gained 1,300 jobs (+0.3 percent). Over-the-year, Education and Health Services jobs are up 16,100 (+2.4 percent) as Health Care and Social Assistance added 11,500 jobs (+2.3 percent) and Educational Services added 4,600 jobs (+2.8 percent).

The Leisure and Hospitality sector added 4,300 jobs (+1.4 percent). Accommodation and Food Services was responsible for the gain with 4,500 jobs added (+1.7 percent) while Arts, Entertainment and Recreation shed 200 jobs (-0.4 percent). Over-the-year, jobs in Leisure and Hospitality are up 9,000 (+3.0 percent) as Accommodation and Food Services gained 6,300 jobs (+2.5 percent) and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation added 2,700 jobs (+5.6 percent).

Professional, Scientific and Business Services gained 2,800 jobs (+0.6 percent) following a revised gain of 4,700 jobs (+1.0 percent). Within this sector, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services gained 2,600 jobs (+1.0 percent); Management of Companies and Enterprises gained 500 jobs (+0.9 percent); and Administrative, Support and Waste Management Services, which includes Employment Services and Services to Buildings and Dwellings, lost 300 jobs (-0.2 percent). Over-the-year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 6,600 jobs (+1.4 percent) with the largest gain in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services which added 4,200 jobs (+1.7 percent).

Other Services added 2,200 jobs (+1.9 percent). Over-the-year jobs in Other Services are up 400 (+0.3 percent).

Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 1,300 jobs (+0.2 percent), the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities gained 900 jobs (+1.1 percent) as Retail Trade gained 300 jobs (+0.1 percent) and Wholesale Trade gained 100 jobs (+0.1 percent). Over-the-year Trade, Transportation and Utilities jobs are up 7,700 (+1.4 percent) with Retail Trade accounting for most of the growth.

Financial Activities added 1,100 jobs (+0.5 percent), the fifth consecutive monthly gain. Within this sector, Finance and Insurance gained 600 jobs (+0.4 percent) while Real Estate and Rental and Leasing added 500 jobs (+1.3 percent). Over-the-year, Financial Activities has gained 100 jobs (0.0 percent).

Information employment remained unchanged. Over-the-year, jobs are up 700 (+0.8 percent). Since September 2010, Information employment has added 2,000 jobs.

Mining and Logging employment remained unchanged. Over-the-year, this sector has lost 100 jobs (-8.3 percent).

Manufacturing sector jobs were down 1,100 (-0.4 percent) with jobs in Durable Goods down 600 jobs (-0.4 percent), and Non-Durable Goods down 500 jobs (-0.6 percent). Over-the-year, Manufacturing jobs are down 500 (-0.2 percent) as the 1,500 job gain (+0.9 percent) in Durable Goods was offset by the 2,000 job loss (-2.3 percent) in Non-Durable Goods.

The Construction sector lost 1,000 jobs (-1.0 percent). Over-the-year, this sector lost 3,000 jobs (-2.8 percent).

Government lost 700 jobs (-0.2 percent) in February. Local Government gained 1,000 jobs (+0.4 percent) and Federal Government gained 300 jobs (+0.6 percent) while State Government lost 2,000 jobs (-1.6 percent). Over-the-year, Government has lost 3,500 jobs (-0.8 percent) with 2,100 jobs (-0.8 percent) lost in Local Government, 1,000 jobs lost (-0.8 percent) in State Government and 400 jobs lost (-0.8 percent) in Federal Government.

Labor Force Overview

The February estimates show 3,213,400 Massachusetts residents were employed and 288,200 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,501,600. The labor force decreased by 500 from 3,502,100 in January as 2,100 more residents were employed and 2,600 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

The labor force is 12,700 above last year’s level with 29,900 more residents employed and 17,200 fewer residents unemployed. Since the rate peaked at 8.8 percent in October 2009, there are 45,000 more residents employed and 16,200 fewer residents unemployed as the labor force expanded by 28,800. Totals 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 may exhibit different trends.