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Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.7 Percent in August Colleen.Quinn@state.ma.us
BOSTON, MA – September 17, 2015 -The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 4.7
percent in August, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced
The new preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate
Massachusetts gained 7,200 jobs in August, marking the twelfth consecutive month of
jobs gains. Year to date, Massachusetts has added 56,500 jobs.
Preliminary August estimates show the number of employed residents declined by
20,600 and the number of unemployed residents decreased by 2,500, reducing the labor
force by 23, 100.
Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.9 percent
from 5.6 percent in August 2014.
The August state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 5.1
percent reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Massachusetts continues to add jobs that strengthen our economy, and the
unemployment rate is holding steady, lower than the national average,” Labor and
Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker, II said. “We recognize there are
still more than 160,000 people looking for work, and are aligning strategies to
better help them find employment.”
The state’s labor force participation rate – the total number of residents 16 or
older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks
– decreased 0.5 of a percentage point to 65.3 over the month. The labor force
participation rate over the year has decreased 0.1 of a percentage point compared to
August 2015 estimates show that 3,424,000 residents were employed and 167,500 were
unemployed. There were 33,200 fewer unemployed persons over the year compared to
The largest private sector percentage job gains over the year were in Professional,
Scientific and Business Services; Construction; and Information.
August 2015 Employment Overview
Leisure and Hospitality added 3,100 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year,
Leisure and Hospitality added 6,700 (+2.0%) jobs.
Education and Health Services gained 2,300 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the
year, Education and Health Services gained 21,200 (+2.9%) jobs.
Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 2,100 (+0.4%) jobs over the
month. Over the year, Professional, Scientific and Business Services added 23,800
Construction gained 1,500 (+1.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Construction
has added 4,800 (+3.7%) jobs.
Financial Activities added 900 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Financial
Activities added 2,700 (+1.3%) jobs.
Information gained 800 (+0.9%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Information added
2,800 (+3.3%) jobs.
Trade, Transportation and Utilities added 600 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the
year, Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained 15,500 (+2.8%) jobs.
Other Services added 300 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Other Services
are up 3,900 (+2.9%) jobs.
Manufacturing lost 2,600 (-1.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Manufacturing
lost 400 (-0.2%) jobs.
Government lost 1,800 (-0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, Government gained
9,300 (+2.1%) jobs.
Labor Force Overview
The August estimates show 3,424,000 Massachusetts residents were employed and
167,500 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,591,500. The unemployment rate
was 4.7 percent. The August labor force decreased by 23,100 from 3,614,600 in July,
as 20,600 fewer residents were employed and 2500 fewer residents were unemployed
over the month. The labor force participation rate, the share of working age
population employed and unemployed, was 65.3, a decrease of 0.5 of a percentage
point over the month. The labor force was 24,400 above the 3,567,100 August 2014
estimate, with 57,600 more residents employed and 33,200 fewer residents unemployed.
The unemployment rate is based on a monthly sample of households. The job estimates
are derived from a monthly sample survey of employers. As a result, the two
statistics may exhibit different monthly trends.
The labor force is the sum of the numbers of employed residents and those
unemployed, that is residents not working but actively seeking work in the last four
weeks. Estimates may not add up to the total labor force due to rounding.
Beginning with the March 2011 estimates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has
assumed responsibility for the production of the CES State and sub-state jobs
estimates. BLS has also implemented methodological changes which may increase the
month to month variability of the estimates. See Changes to procedures for producing
Current Employment Statistics (CES) State
Local area unemployment statistics for August 2015 will be released on Tuesday,
September 22, 2015. The preliminary September 2015 and revised August 2015
unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be
released on Thursday, October 15, 2015.
Detailed labor market information is available at
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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Office of the State Treasurer
Treasurer Goldberg Hosts Regional Wage Equality Roundtable in
Highlights Commitment to Engage Directly with Private Employers Across
SHREWSBURY, MA – State Treasurer Deb Goldberg and her statewide
Advisory Committee on Wage Equality will host a panel discussion this
afternoon at the UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine campus.
They will collaborate with business and thought leaders from across the
Greater Worcester region to explore and develop best practices to close
the wage gap.
“Wage equality is a business imperative critical to the economic
stability of our state,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “These regional
roundtables will help develop strategies for eliminating the wage gap
across public and private sectors.”
Today’s discussion will be the third in a series of five regional
roundtables where the Treasurer and her Advisory Committee solicit input
on closing the wage gap from business leaders, academics, and employees.
The Committee will then use this data to develop a wage equality toolkit
for businesses and organizations.
The panel will includeKristin Lewis, Vice President of Government
Affairs and Public Policy at Tufts Health Plan, Paul Matthews, Executive
Director of the 495/MetroWest Partnership, Joyce A. Murphy, Executive
Vice Chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine, UMass Medical School, Maeghan
Silverberg, Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts Technology
Collaborative, Steve Tolman, President of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and
Reverend Liz Walker, Pastor of the Roxbury Presbyterian Church.
“Wage equity in Massachusetts is an issue we should all take seriously,”
said Murphy, the Executive Vice Chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine.
“The Commonwealth’s fiscal strength is rooted in its wage earners,
and closing the wage gap is crucial for economic vitality.”
In March Treasurer Goldberg announced the creation of a new statewide
Advisory Committee on Wage Equality, focused on helping both government
agencies and private employers to review their pay structure and put a
clearer focus on pay equity in hiring decisions and salary offers.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, a leader on wage equality through his
Women’s Workforce Council, serves as the honorary chair of the
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Today is our United Way’s 22nd Annual Day of Caring.
There will be 1300 volunteers all over central Massachusetts engaged in 75 service
projects; 1300 volunteers all making a difference; 1300 volunteers all “Living
My rough math shows that in our 22 years of Day of Caring more than 20,000 people
have volunteered and more than 100,000 hours of service has been performed.
To all volunteers, to all businesses and organizations – THANK YOU!
We will be hosting a lunch gathering/celebration at noon at the Italian American
Cultural Center at 28 Mulberry Street.
In addition to a tasty and nutritious meal and many, many smiles from the
volunteers; we will be making 2 presentations: the Spirit of Volunteerism Award, and
a special surprise announcement. We hope that you will join us.
Finally – We wish to bring great and positive attention: to our sponsors, to all
businesses participating (I believe that every one is a member of the Worcester
Regional Chamber of Commerce!), to our volunteers, to the service projects, and to
the spirit of volunteerism. Please follow us on Facebook (United Way of Central
Massachusetts) and on Twitter @UnitedWayofCM. We will be using the hashtag of
#DoC2015. Take photos and post them too.
Finally – Thank You to all of you; Day of Caring is a HUGE undertaking; what all of
you teach me is that Day of Caring happens every day in our lives. Thanks!
President and CEO
United Way of Central Massachusetts
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Worcester residents envision sports facility at Wyman-Gordon property
By Brad Petrishen
Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER – In a meeting in which ideas for the land ranged from well-groomed townhouses to the relocation of the police station, Canal District residents Wednesday settled upon a premier athletic complex as the preferred future for the long-vacant Wyman-Gordon property.
Whether such a vision will ever come to reality will depend upon a litany of factors – including acquisition of the site and potentially costly cleanup – but city officials Wednesday said the session was a step in the right direction.
“Tonight was an educational exercise,” Michael E. Traynor, the city’s chief development officer, said following a 90-minute meeting at the Crompton Collective. About 30 people, including area professors, businessmen and politicians, turned out to discuss ideas for the site, which the Worcester Redevelopment Authority is working to redevelop as part of a larger urban renewal plan.
As part of that process, the city is required to solicit public input. Wednesday night, Jeff Fasser, a project manager hired by the WRA, got the discussion going by presenting meeting participants with three concepts for the 14-acre property. The concepts, which were displayed on maps, were only for the purposes of inspiring discussion, he said, not concrete suggestions.
The options were a new police station, a neighborhood of townhouses or an athletic complex. While housing and mixed-use development were supported by many in attendance, the idea that excited people the most was the athletic complex.
Ramon Borges-Mendez, an associate professor of international development at Clark University, said he believes an Olympic-size pool would be a huge asset to Worcester because they are scarce in New England.
City businessman Allen Fletcher said he liked the idea of a multisport facility, perhaps one that could include a pool, hockey rink, practice field and/or open space. The idea, he and others said, would be to build something that would attract visitors to the city and at the same time spruce up the blighted area.
“Wide open and desolate” were the words state Rep. Mary Keefe, D-Worcester, used to describe that part of her district. She suggested a school as a possible addition, noting children who live there now are bused to schools in other sections of the city.
Paul Harrington, owner of Paul’s Auto Glass on Madison Street, said whatever the future of the space, traffic will be a prime concern.
“There’s nothing there now, and traffic is a mess,” he said.
Before city officials can worry about traffic, though, there remain more immediate obstacles in the path to redeveloping the site.
The former longtime home of metal-part manufacturer Wyman-Gordon, the property is now owned by Precision Castparts Corp., an Oregon company that was recently bought by business magnate Warren Buffet.
Mr. Traynor said the city has not reached out to Precision to discuss the future of the site. Even if the owners were willing to sell – or the city decided to take it via eminent domain – the property is likely contaminated, and could cost many millions to clean.
Mr. Traynor said that for now, the city’s focus is on soliciting feedback from residents to assist in the larger urban renewal plan. He said the hope is to submit such a plan to the state Department of Housing and Community Development by the end of the year.
Even if the plan was approved, the city would not be guaranteed state funding. Rather, it would likely have to petition to the Legislature if it wanted funding, Mr. Traynor said, since a state-created pot of money for urban renewal projects has long since dried up.
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SO CALLED SMART METER Watch by Pat Burke
There are 27 bills listed and the smart meter bill is currently scheduled to be heard last.
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