Massachusetts Adds 1,400 Jobs In May; Jobs Gains Were Recorded In 7 Of Last 8 Months


Unemployment Rate Continues To Be Below National Average

Boston, MA (CompNewsNetwork) - The Executive Office of the Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development reported preliminary estimates today showing that Massachusetts added 1,400 jobs in May. Gains have been recorded in seven of the last eight months. So far this year, the Massachusetts economy has added 3,900 jobs, while the national economy has shed 324,000 jobs.

Over the year, solid job increases have been seen in key growth sectors of the state's economy: education and health services, and professional, scientific and business services. For the month of May, professional, scientific and business services added 700 jobs, education and health services added 400 jobs, and the governmental sector added the remaining jobs. Among the nine major private super sectors, five recorded job increases while four showed over the month declines.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate rose from 4.1 percent in April to 4.9 percent in May, after having dropped three tenths of a percentage point from March to April. While this one month increase mirrors the increase in the national rate which was reported last week; the state rate continues to fall below the national rate of 5.5 percent. One year ago, both the Massachusetts and U.S. rates stood at 4.5 percent. During each of the subsequent 12 months, the Massachusetts rate has been below the U.S. rate. The national rate jumped from 5.0 percent in April to 5.5 percent in May.

For the year, the state unemployment rate has averaged 4.5 percent, slightly lower than the 4.6 percent rate for the same time period last year.

Employment Overview
Education and health services added 400 more jobs in May building on the 3,600 job expansion from the previous month. At 636,400, jobs in this sector are up 13,600 or 2.2 percent from one year ago. This sector has added the most new jobs and has the highest annual growth rate of any super sector in Massachusetts. Employment in health care and social assistance accounted for 11,500 of the new jobs, with strong gains in ambulatory health care services and hospitals.

Jobs in professional, scientific and business services were up 700 in May. At 488,800, employment is up 1.4 percent from one year ago, with all the 6,600 super sector job gains concentrated in professional, scientific, and technical services industries such as computer systems design and scientific research and development.

Financial activities employment was off 500 over the month. At 223,600, the financial activities sector is down 1,900 jobs from one year ago, with real estate, rental and leasing accounting for much of the decline.

The trade, transportation and utilities super sector added 400 jobs in May with small gains in each of the major industry components. At 567,800, employment in this super sector is down 3,700 from one year ago. A 5,000 over the year job loss in retail trade was only partially offset by a 1,200 job increase in wholesale trade.

Leisure and hospitality jobs were up 300 in May to 302,100 and have increased by 2,200 over the year due to growth in accommodation and food services.

Information jobs were off by 500 in May. This super sector has added 1,700 jobs over the past year, with software publishing driving the growth. This sector has the second highest annual growth rate at 1.9 percent.

Manufacturing jobs were off 400 in May. At 292,100 employment is down 3,700 or 1.3 percent from one year ago.

Construction employment continued to fall with a 400 job loss in May. At 133,900, jobs are down 3,400 or 2.5 percent from one year ago.

The job numbers are the result of a monthly survey that uses U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology. More than 9,000 Massachusetts employers are surveyed to determine the number of jobs by industry. These estimates are the economic indicator used to gauge the Commonwealth's employment growth patterns.

Labor Force Overview
The Bay State's labor force declined by 12,100 over the month, as 37,500 fewer Massachusetts residents were employed, and 25,400 more were unemployed. At 3,392,000, the labor force is also down 18,600 from this time last year as 29,700 fewer residents were employed and 11,200 fewer unemployed.

Labor force estimates for Massachusetts, developed using the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics model, are based on information on Massachusetts' residents' employment and unemployment status collected through a small monthly sample survey of households.

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