Massachusetts gains 9,200 jobs in May as labor pool grows

Massachusetts gained 9,200 jobs in May as the unemployment rate here fell by three tenths of a percentage point to 6.4%, according to numbers released Friday by both the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the federal Bureau of Labor statistics

The gain of 9,200 jobs follows a revised gain of 10,200 jobs in April when the state had first said just 5,100 jobs were created in April. A March gain first reported at 12,800 jobs was revised upwards to 14,800 as the economy rapidly recovers from the pandemic.

Massachusetts employers still report difficulty in filling jobs. A survey from Associated Industries of Massachusetts survey from May showed 60% of employers currently have job openings and 53% say they cannot find qualified workers to fill those vacancies.

According to unemployment data released Friday by the state, The labor force increased by 1,900 from 3,745,700 in April, as 13,700 more residents were employed and 11,800 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

The labor force participation rate, the share of the working age population employed and unemployed, remained unchanged at 66.4%

Jobs numbers and unemployment numbers come from two different sources. Unemployment numbers come from a household survey. Jobs numbers come, at least initially, from a survey of employers and may lag actual job creation.

Of those new jobs in May, leisure and hospitality once again had the largest gains with 3,200 jobs added followed by education and health services, adding 2,400 jobs. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 91,800 jobs.

Here is a breakdown by sector of the economy:

  • Leisure and hospitality gained 3,200 (+1.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 43,400 (+7.8%) jobs were added.
  • Education and health services gained 2,400 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 50,600 (+7.1%) jobs were added.
  • Professional and business Services gained 1,600 (+0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 37,500 (+6.6%) jobs were added.
  • Government gained 1,600 (+0.4%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 4,400 (+1.0%) jobs were lost.
  • Manufacturing gained 1,300 (+0.6%)jobs over the month. Over the year, 13,000 (+5.9%) jobs were added.
  • Financial activities gained 300 jobs (+0.1%) over the month. Over the year, 5,300 (+2.5%) jobs were added.
  • Information gained 200 (+0.2%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 1,300 (+1.5%) jobs were added.
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 200 (0.0%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 85,800 (+18.3%) jobs were added.
  • Other services lost 300 (-0.3%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 20,800 (+22.4%) jobs were added.
  • Construction lost 900 (-0.6%) jobs over the month. Over the year, 32,400 (+25.0%) jobs were added.

At the same time, there are fewer people being laid off.

The state said Thursday that 7,549 individuals filed an initial claim for regular Unemployment Insurance a decrease of 467 claims from the previous week and a new pandemic low.

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