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The state has revised downward — by tens of thousands — the number of jobs Massachusetts employers added in 2011.
Earlier this year, Massachusetts labor officials said employers added nearly 41,000 jobs throughout 2011. On Thursday, with the state's latest jobs report, that figure was pared back severely — to 12,200. (See charts below for month-by-month jobs figures.)
The U.S. Department of Labor continually revises jobs data following initial reports with the introduction of new information.
Massachusetts Labor Secretary Joanne Goldstein said the federal calculations that extrapolated job growth over the second half of the year do not accurately reflect the state's job growth over that period.
"We think that methodology results in Massachusetts numbers not reflecting the actual job growth for the year because one of our strongest quarters is the third quarter," she said, citing leisure and hospitality and construction jobs in the late summer and fall.
"We are working with [the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics] and talking to them about how to capture that," Goldstein added. "We were concerned that the second half of 2011 was not reflected in terms of real data, but we were anticipating that, and we are trying to look at all of the factors of economic growth in a broader spectrum."
Goldstein stressed that the jobs total is "one economic factor of many" that help assess the state's labor market, including higher payroll tax revenue, an increased business confidence and a declining unemployment rate.
Thursday's revised figures show that Massachusetts' jobless rate fell from 7.8 percent in January 2011 to 6.9 percent in December 2011.
Thursday's report also found that the state added 6,600 jobs in January — including 3,500 jobs in the professional, scientific and business services sector — and the jobless rate held steady at 6.9 percent.
The national jobless rate was 8.3 percent in January.
With your mouse, hover over the charts for specific monthly data.
[asset title="From January: Mass. Jobs Added/Lost In 2011, By Month"]2012/wbur_0120_unemployment/1.html[/asset]
[asset title="Revised Figures: Mass. Jobs Added/Lost In 2011, By Month"]2012/wbur_0308_unemployment/1.html[/asset]
[asset title="From January: Mass. Unemployment Rate In 2011, By Month"]2012/wbur_0120_unemployment/2.html[/asset]
[asset title="Revised Figures: Mass. Unemployment Rate In 2011, By Month"]2012/wbur_0308_unemployment/2.html[/asset]
This program aired on March 8, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.
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