Tag Archives: unemployment

From Grace Ross and Chris Horton …

Tomorrow, Thursday, the Worcester Unemployment Action Group
and the Grace Team Unemployment Project will release the 2nd ever …

Mass. Employment Population Ratio (EPR) statistic

And …

Our response to the official November Mass Jobs and Unemployment Report, due out that morning.

The November Mass EPR statistic will be calculated and emailed to the press mid-morning tomorrow (for release at noon), and will be presented at a Press Conference, tomorrow, Thursday, 12/18, 12:00-12:45 pm in front of Worcester City Hall, 455 Main St.

Leaders and unemployed and underemployed folks will speak about the unemployment situation on the ground and the need for stronger action.

The Mass EPR data, which comes from the BLS by way of the Mass Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, was extracted from their Website:


It is calculated by dividing the Employment statistic by the Working Age Population (population age 16+) statistic.  The Mass EPR, which so far as we can determine has not been published by Massachusetts in recent years, is entirely equivalent to the regularly published and increasingly cited US BLS Employment Population Ratio, with all of its strengths and weaknesses.

Hope gov-elect Charlie Baker reads this editorial …

… because this is how it feels for most of us Worcesterites! Read this editorial from The New York Times because the right-wing Telegram and Gazette editorial board won’t print the truth for ya and former Democratic hero and Mass Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, now making $200,000 a year at the Chamber of Commerce, urged everyone to VOTE WRONG ON THE BALLOT QUESTIONS, shitting all over working people (and the environment). Murray, this past election, was anti-living wage, anti-expanded bottle bill, anti-earned sick time … what a whore.  

–  Rosalie Tirella

Job Growth, but No Raises


The employment report for October, released on Friday, reflects a steady-as-she-goes economy. And that is a problem, because for most Americans, more of the same is not good enough. Since the recovery began in mid-2009, inflation-adjusted figures show that the economy has grown by 12 percent; corporate profits, by 46 percent; and the broad stock market, by 92 percent. Median household income has contracted by 3 percent.

Against that backdrop, the economic challenge is to reshape the economy in ways that allow a fair share of economic growth to flow into worker pay. The October report offers scant evidence that this challenge is being met. Worse,the legislative agenda of the new Republican congressional majority, including corporate tax cuts and more deficit reduction, would reinforce rather than reverse the lopsided status quo. …

To read entire editorial, CLICK HERE 



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.

The last dress …

How “fitting”! The last dress I picked up at Building 19 – this pretty sheath – has a busted zipper! No worries…  I paid a whopping $2.50 for it during Building 19-Spags’ final day close-out, MOVE IT ALL OUT sale. It’s a “sample” – worth much more than $2.50. Samples are very small sizes of very good clothing that most American woman have trouble squeezing themselves into. Sellers take samples to dept stores and show the stores’ buyers what’s new for the season. The buyers decide if they want to order the clothing for the store. Sometimes, at Building 19, the samples had teeny, inconspicuous stains on them or were slightly damaged – but still very wearable. This beauty, whose color is not faded (it’s the light hitting it in a cool way) is a size 8, which I don’t think I can pour myself into … yet. Maybe never. But, hey, I saw it, fell in love with it and brought it home. 

I may have the zipper repaired … or I may just keep it hanging on my bedroom closet door like this. Looking at it makes me happy and sad: pretty dress/all those great Building 19 workers now unemployed …  – R. Tirella

Mass job figures

BOSTON – The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development yesterday reported that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for May were up in seventeen areas, down in four areas and unchanged in one area.  Over the year, the rates were up in sixteen areas; down in three areas; and unchanged in three areas.

Statewide, the May seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, up 0.5 of a percentage point over the month.  Over the year, the statewide unadjusted rate was up 0.3 of a percentage point from the May 2012 rate of 6.5 percent.

In May, over the month job gains occurred in all twelve areas for which estimates are published.  The largest job gains were in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Barnstable, Framingham, and Springfield areas. 

Over the year, ten of the twelve areas added jobs with the largest percentage gains in the Barnstable, Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy areas.

The seasonally adjusted statewide May unemployment rate, released on June 20th, was 6.6 percent, up 0.2 of a percentage point from the 6.4 recorded for April and down 0.1 of a percentage point from the 6.7 percent rate posted for May 2012.  The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 3,500 job gain in May following a loss of 3,300 jobs in April.

The labor force, unemployment rates and jobs estimates for Massachusetts, and for all states, are based on several different statistical methodologies specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 June 2013 unemployment rate, labor force data, and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on July 18, 2013; local unemployment statistics will be released on July 23, 2013.  Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi. See the 2013 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.

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.

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.

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