Mass. Unemployment Could Hit 9.1 Percent

Unemployment in Massachusetts could top 9.1 percent this year and surpass its peak from the recession of the early 1990s, according to a new report by UMass Boston.

The report says before the end of the year, the jobless rate, which is currently 7.8 percent, could surpass the 9.1 percent rate seen in the recession of the early 1990s.

"The reason unemployment has risen so fast is because there were parts of the country that were doing better and people could migrate," UMass economist Alan Clayton-Matthews explains. "But now the whole country is in steep decline."

The UMass report says Massachusetts lost almost 47,000 jobs in the last two months of 2008, the highest 2-month loss since 1991.

Clayton-Matthews says the current recession is also different from previous downturns because jobs are being lost in nearly all sectors of the state's economy, at what Clayton-Matthews calls a "dizzying pace."

"The rate of jobless among technical worker over past 3 months has been almost 10 percent annualized rate," says Clayton-Matthews.

The UMass report suggests the state economy could hit bottom by the end of the year.

This program aired on March 27, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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