MASSACHUSETTS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 7.4%
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.
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.