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Boston Job Market One of Few to Add Jobs

Posted on November 13, 2008

While most areas in the country are constantly losing jobs, the Boston job market has been an exception to the rule.

During September 2008, the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area saw a total non-farm employment of 2,513,500, up from 2,491,800 during August, and an increase of .8 percent from last yea. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the area has seen an over-the-year increase in jobs every month so far this year. Jobs increased by .9 percent in April, .8 percent in May, .8 percent in June, .7 percent in July, .7 percent in August and .8 percent in September.

Even though jobs are up, the unemployment rate also increased, from 4.7 percent in August to 5 percent in September. Also, several industries saw an over-the-year decrease in jobs during September, including construction by 3 percent; manufacturing by 1.1 percent; trade, transportation and utilities by .2 percent; information by .4 percent; financial activities by 1 percent and other services by .8 percent.

According to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, September unemployment rates declined in the Amherst and Greenfield labor market areas, while five labor market areas had their unemployment rates unchanged and 15 areas saw their unemployment rates increase.

At the same time, nine labor market areas added jobs, mostly because public and private schools returned from summer vacation. The New Bedford area had an increase of 1,500 jobs, or 2.3 percent, the highest growth rate in the state. Job growth was higher than 1 percent in the Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Springfield and Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner areas. The Barnstable and Pittsfield areas saw job declines. Over the year jobs increased in the Boston and Farmingham areas, but decreased in the remaining 10 labor market areas.

Statewide, unemployment rates increased in all of the labor market areas. The state unemployment rate also increased, from 5.2 percent in August to 5.3 percent during September.