Mass. Employers Add Jobs In May

The Massachusetts job market may be improving.

Massachusetts employers hired 4,900 people in May, marking the first increase in jobs over the past year, according to new numbers from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

At the same time, the state's unemployment rate climbed from 8.0 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May. The state still has 3.4 percent fewer jobs than it had in May 2008. That is still well below the national average unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, which rose from 8.9 percent in April.

"The fact that our unemployment rate is not increasing at the same rate that the national level is also gives us reason to hope that maybe some of the worst projections for the Massachusetts economy will not be realized," said state Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne M. Bump.

In a survey of employer payrolls, the state saw the largest job gains in professional, scientific and business services, which added 2,600 jobs last month. That is the biggest increase the sector has seen in more than four years.

Education and health services added 2,500 jobs in May, with most of the gains in health care and social assistance. Meanwhile, construction and manufacturing continued to shed jobs. Construction jobs were down 2,600 in May. Jobs in that sector are still down 15 percent from a year ago. Manufacturing lost 300 jobs, marking the smallest monthly decline all year.

Local and state governments also posted job losses in May, shedding 2,100 jobs last month.

This program aired on June 18, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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