Massachusetts Adds 2,900 Jobs In June; Unemployment Rate At 5.2%


Boston, MA  (CompNewsNetwork) - The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today that preliminary estimates show 2,900 jobs were added in Massachusetts in June. Additionally, job gains for May were revised and show that 1,900 new jobs were added over the month, up from 1,400 as originally published. The Bay State has recorded job gains in eight of the last nine months.

During the first six months of 2008, MA added jobs with the largest gains in key sectors including education and health services and professional, scientific and business services. In contrast, the national economy shed jobs during the last six months.

The largest job gain in June was in leisure and hospitality, which added 2,500 jobs for the month. Other super sectors adding jobs over the month include construction (+700) and education and health services (+200). Additionally, manufacturing gained 300 jobs, that super sector's third over the month job gain in 2008. Over the year, the education and health services; professional, scientific, and business services, and information sectors continue to add jobs and perform strongly.

The Massachusetts unemployment rate rose from 4.9 percent in May to 5.2 percent in June as more residents without a recent attachment to the labor market were seeking jobs. At the same time, the state rate continues to be below the national rate, which remained at 5.5 percent. The Massachusetts rate has been below the national rate each month over the past year. One year ago the state rate was at 4.5 percent and the national rate at 4.6 percent.

Through the first half of 2008, the state unemployment rate has averaged 4.6 percent, the same rate recorded for the comparable six month period in 2007.

Employment Overview
Education and health services added 200 jobs in June with gains in health care and social assistance largely offset by higher than usual seasonal declines in colleges and universities. At 636,400, jobs are up 12,900 or 2.1 percent from one year ago. This sector continues to add the most new jobs and have 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 both ambulatory health care services and hospitals.

Jobs in the professional, scientific and business services were unchanged in June at 489,400. However, last month's estimate was revised up by 600, and now shows an over the month increase of 1,300 instead of the originally published increase of 700. Employment is up 6,700 jobs or 1.4 percent from one year ago, with gains in professional, scientific, and technical services industries, such as computer systems design and scientific research and development.

Financial activities employment was essentially unchanged (-100) over the month. At 223,500, the financial activities sector is down 1,800 jobs from one year ago, with real estate, rental and leasing accounting for most of the decline.

The trade, transportation and utilities super sector was off 100 in June, with gains in wholesale trade and transportation, warehousing, and utilities offset by the loss in jobs in retail trade. At 568,000, employment in this super sector is down 4,200 from one year ago. A 5,700 over the year job loss in retail trade was partially offset by a 1,300 job increase in wholesale trade and a 200 job increase in transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

Leisure and hospitality jobs were up 2,500 in June, with slightly larger than expected increases in arts, entertainment and recreation and accommodation and food services. At 304,600, jobs have increased by 2,100 over the year due to growth in accommodation and food services.

Information jobs were off by 200 in June, although job growth in software publishing remains strong. The information super sector has added 1,500 jobs over the past year and posted the second highest annual growth rate at 1.7 percent.

Manufacturing added 300 jobs in June. At 292,300, manufacturing employment is down 3,400 or 1.1 percent from one year ago.

Construction added 700 jobs in June, its strongest monthly increase since May 2007. At 134,700, jobs are down 3,200 or 2.3 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 increased by 18,100 over the month as 6,300 more Massachusetts residents were employed and 11,800 more were unemployed. At 3,410,000, the labor force is up 600 from this time last year as 24,200 fewer residents were employed and 24,800 more were 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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