Green shoots on the jobs scene

BREAKING (little siren here): Mass. Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Press Release says MA added 8,700 jobs last month; unemployment drops to 6.5%. Press release pasted on the flip.

And, our jobs numbers may well get revised back upwards:

The Massachusetts economy created jobs faster than the nation as whole in 2011, new data show, and the US Labor Department acknowledges that it probably got it wrong when last month it dramatically lowered estimates of the state’s job growth.

38,900 vs. 2,300 jobs for the first three quarters of 2011. Big difference. Back in the saddle again, although I guess we were never out of the saddle. I love when that happens.

Relatedly, the Center for American Progress does a little story on Massachusetts’ green jobs scene; I love the images of insulation work getting done, which is low-tech, cheap for the consumer (especially with big MassSave subsidies), and a huge money- and energy-saver.

The Truth About Green Jobs: A Case Study – YouTube.

Now, here’s the problem with politicizing jobs figures for incumbents: The most profound and important things a governor and legislature can do for the economy won’t be felt for years to come: Focusing on education, training, infrastructure, and — I would argue — health, and bubble-up economics, focusing on reducing inequality.

Gov. Patrick inherited an education system that in some ways is nearly 400 years old; crafted more recently by Republican Governors and a Democratic legislature; inherited a comprehensive but creaking infrastructure from his predecessors; a health care system refined and reformed by Republicans and Democrats alike; etc.

The wages of goodness are not assured — certainly not always before the next election.


 March UNEMPLOYMENT drops to 6.5%

Boston, MA – April 19, 2012 –The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development today reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary March 2012 estimates show that Massachusetts added 8,700 jobs over the month, for a total of 3,241,600 jobs. The March job gain follows a revised 7,200 job gain in February. The total unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent, 0.4 percentage points below the February rate of 6.9 percent and well below the national rate of 8.2 percent.

The private sector added 8,900 jobs in March. Five of the ten private sectors added jobs; the largest gains occurred in Professional, Scientific, and Business Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Education and Health Services.

Year to date, the Bay State added 29,800 jobs; the private sector added 31,200 jobs. Over the year, the Bay

State added 30,300 jobs; the private sector added 34,600 jobs.

Employment Overview

Professional, Scientific, and Business Services added 4,900 (+1.0%) jobs over the month, the sector’s ninth monthly gain. Over the year, the sector added 17,000 (+3.6%) jobs due mostly to growth in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, which added 9,600 (+3.8%) jobs.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities added 2,800 (+0.5%) jobs over the month with gains in two of the three components. Year to date, the sector added 6,900 (+1.3%) jobs. Over the year, the sector added 10,700 (+2.0%) jobs, as Retail Trade added 8,100 (+2.4%) jobs.

Education and Health Services added 2,500 (+0.4%) jobs over the month with gains in both components. Health Care and Social Assistance added 2,100 (+0.4%) jobs and Educational Services added 400 (+0.3%) jobs. Over the year, Education and Health Services added 2,300 (+0.3%) jobs.

Manufacturing added 300 (+0.1%) jobs over the month as the gain in Durable Goods outweighed the loss in Non-Durable Goods. Over the year, Manufacturing added 1,700 (+0.7%) jobs.

Other Services gained 100 (+0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, the sector added 2,700 (+2.3%) jobs.

Mining and Logging employment remained unchanged both over the month and over the year.

Construction lost 700 (-0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, the sector lost 1,200 (-1.1%) jobs. However, year to date, the sector added 1,300 (+1.2%) jobs.

Leisure and Hospitality lost 600 (-0.2%) jobs over the month as the loss in Accommodation and Food Services outweighed the gain in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. This follows February’s revised gain of 5,400 (+1.7%) jobs and is the sector’s first monthly loss since October 2011. Over the year, Leisure and Hospitality added 5,400 (+1.7%) jobs.

Financial Activities lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, the sector lost 2,800 (-1.4%) jobs as Finance and Insurance lost 2,100 (-1.3%) jobs and Real Estate, Rental and Leasing lost 700 (-1.8%) jobs.

Information lost 100 (-0.1%) jobs over the month. Over the year, the sector lost 1,200 (-1.4%) jobs.

Government lost 200 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Federal Government added 100 (+0.2%) jobs, while State Government employment remained unchanged. Local Government lost 300 (-0.1%) jobs. Over the year, Government lost 4,300 (-1.0%) jobs.

Labor Force Overview

The March 2012 estimates show 3,227,600 Massachusetts residents were employed and 226,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3,453,600. Over the month, 11,900 fewer residents were unemployed and 7,400 more residents were employed. At 3,227,600, the number of employed residents is the highest since January 2009. Since the unemployment rate peaked at 8.7 percent in October 2009, there are 67,100 more residents employed and 74,900 fewer residents unemployed. Totals for March may not sum exactly due to rounding.

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 for March exhibit different trends.


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 estimates.

Local area unemployment statistics for March 2012 will be released on Tuesday, April 24, 2012. The April 2012 unemployment rate and labor force data for Massachusetts will be released on Thursday, May 17, 2012. See Revised Media Advisory for a complete list of release dates.

Detailed labor market information is available at

Recommended by somervilletom.


2 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Jobs...

    Massachusetts jobs mining coal: approx. 0
    Massachusetts jobs drilling for gas: approx. 0
    Massachusetts jobs mining uranium: approx. 0

    Every kWh of electricity we generate from fossil and nuclear fuel ensures that we are continuously exporting money from our local (indeed, regional) economy to other places. They’re getting richer, we’re getting poorer.

    Every time we insulate and air-seal a house or install efficient HVAC equipment or upgrade lighting, we’re paying people to install it. Local people. Solid, blue collar jobs. Middle class jobs. Then, whomever pays the bills pays less, which means less is being shipped off to the Appalachian or Powder River Basin coal companies or to gas extraction in Pennsylvania or the Gulf of Mexico or Texas… and more of that money is spent in Massachusetts. Every $100 not spent on fossil fuel elsewhere is $100 that could be spent in local restaurants, stores, or services.

    Supporting the growth of green jobs grows both more green jobs and more traditional jobs all-the-while increasing wealth in the region because we’re not shipping our dollars away. It’s great economic policy meets great environmental policy.

    • Just to build on stomv's excellent point ...

      Massachusetts DOES have and can create more jobs in:
      - Solar thermal (for space heat and hot water) energy
      - Solar photo-voltaic energy (for electricity and electrolysis)
      - Wind energy
      - Geo-thermal energy
      - Tidal energy

      Each time we build or enlarge a walkable neighborhood, so that people can live, work, and entertain themselves within walking distance, we improve our quality of life. The more we move towards locally-grown food, the more we create jobs in agriculture. When we spend the extra $100 in a local restaurant, if that restaurant buys its food from Massachusetts farmers, we multiply the benefit to Massachusetts of that $100.

      There is another enormous benefit of this synergy between great economic policy and great environmental policy — it restores Massachusetts to its place as a great place to live (and work, and play). Our economy and environment become a magnet, drawing people who value these things and thereby creating and growing sustainable prosperity.

      This is the underlying narrative that I find far more compelling than the selfishness-blessed-by-god-yields-power fable offered by the GOP for decades.

      When we do the right things — for the economy, the environment, for education, for social justice — we make our world a better place.

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Tue 25 Apr 8:18 PM