Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Rises in August; Impacted by Market Basket Shut Down

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts rose to 5.8 percent in August, up from 5.6 percent in July. The state lost 5,300 jobs in August, according to a report from the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development that specified “temporary employment disruptions in the retail sector” contributing to the loss of 9,800 jobs in the retail sector.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.1 percent.

The Best Time to Look for a Job

Job seekers stymied by the ‘summer slow-down’ can take heart: your in-box will start buzzing again soon.

PSG’s President Aaron Green recently shared his thoughts with about the best and worst job-seeking ‘seasons.’  However, while some periods may be slower than others in some industries or at some firms, Green advises that the best time to look for a job is “when you need one.”

Read the full article here.

The short answer: best time to look for a job is when you need it, says Aaron Green, founder of Professional Staffing

The short answer: best time to look for a job is when you need it, says Aaron Green, founder of Professional Staffing

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly to 5.6 percent

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate rose slightly – from 5.5 percent, its lowest rate in almost six years, to 5.6 percent in July, according to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Massachusetts also added 13,800 jobs to the economy last month.

In July, the professional, scientific and business services, as well as education and health services sectors, added the most jobs. A net of 67,300 jobs have been added to the Massachusetts economy over the past year.

The national unemployment rate is currently 6.2 percent.

Ask A Recruiter: Balancing Personal and Professional Use of Social Media

Q: What are your recommendations for balancing personal and professional information on social media?

A: It used to be easy to know which social media were for strictly professional use (e.g. LinkedIn) and which were for more personal use (e.g. Instagram), but the line has certainly blurred. Some job seekers leverage the social aspect of sites like Facebook and Pinterest to showcase a passion or talent that enhances their personal brand, and some job seekers are sharing more personal information on their professional profiles in order to differentiate themselves.

A simple answer is to create separate identities on the social media you use to keep personal and professional interactions separate. But that can be confusing to friends and followers and life today rarely has relationships that fall into such neat categories.

It’s important today to understand how social media is perceived by others. No matter how you regard and use social media, employers and recruiters will use it to help them do their jobs. Most will Google you and look up your LinkedIn profile. For many positions (not all) it’s considered a detriment NOT to have a LinkedIn profile. In addition, the social world is expanding every day. Whether they’re active users or not, your various family members and acquaintances from every imaginable aspect of life are on social media and can see your posts.

With that in mind, here are some tips for balancing personal and professional information and activities on social media:

Consider the impression you’re making – Take a look at your profile(s) as if you were a recruiter or hiring manager. What is the first impression you get from your photo (or lack of photo)? Do you share professional content on your profile? Does your online activity reinforce your resume? I.e. do you participate in online groups or blog about topics that demonstrate your expertise? Make sure your online presence is sharing the impression you want it to give.

Make sure you’re search-friendly – Just as there are certain conventions to follow for writing resumes, there are different criteria to consider when updating your digital bio. In this case, that means making sure your bio includes the right keywords to appeal to employers.

Remember the behavior rules for social situations – Poor social skills – think of party-goers who monopolize conversations, complain about everything, or take credit for others’ ideas – are just as bad when they happen online. Social media was designed for engaging, not broadcasting. With that in mind, consider posting updates that spark conversation or adding your comment to a retweet. Look for businesses and brands that you’d like to work with and follow them online. Engage with the thought-leaders in your industry.

Know the difference between personalizing and being overly personal – Sometimes we don’t know where the line between personal and professional is until we’ve crossed it. Negative comments, a spike in ‘unfollowers,’ or overall decrease in activity on your social media profile page can be signs that you’ve gone too far. Conversely, a lack of activity and engagement may mean that you’re not interesting enough.

Update privacy settings – If you don’t trust yourself to remember personal and professional boundaries, consider creating rules that will remember for you. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to choose who can see your posts and Pinterest gives you the ability to create secret boards.



About the Recruiter

Kristen Coppins has 10+ years of experience in the staffing and recruiting industry.  As a Director and member of the management team at Professional Staffing Group (PSG), she oversees the new hire training and development program. Kristen is also a member of ASA’s Continued Education Committee.  K-Coppins

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate for June dropped to its lowest rate in nearly six years – to 5.5 percent – and the state added 3,700 jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report.


Compared to figures from one year ago, Massachusetts’ total unemployment rate is down 1.6 percent and the state has added a net total of 48,900 jobs, 48,400 in the private sector and 500 jobs in the public sector.


The biggest jobs producers were in the education and health services sectors, which added a combined 6,000 positions in June. Retailers added 1,800 jobs, while local government grew by 900 positions. Manufacturing jobs lost 1,100 in June.


The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in June.

In Jobs Recovery, Baby Boomers Outperform & Outrank Millennials

Last month, CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl (EMSI) announced the results of data analysis showing that the two largest population groups in today’s workforce, baby boomers and millennials, have weathered the recession differently and hold unequal percentages of jobs in today’s economy.


The labor market data that EMSI analyzed shows that the number of jobs held by baby boomers (age 55-64) grew 9 percent from 2007 to 2013, a gain of 1.9 million, while the millennial workforce (age 22-34) shows an increase of only 110,000 jobs and employment in 2013 only increased .3 percent from 2007. The numbers point to an older population that is holding on to its jobs, postponing retirement, and even increasing its labor force participation rate and employment-to-population ratio. Millennials, on the other hand, entered the workforce at a time when there were very weak entry-level job prospects and left the workforce in greater numbers or took lower paying jobs than they may have otherwise done.


Aside from being discouraging for young workers, the analysis is a wakeup call for employers. While some employers have been maintaining a “steady as she goes” approach to staff retention and minimal turnover, they may soon be facing numerous vacancies when large numbers of employees retire. The open positions these workers vacate could also leave a skills shortage if new workers aren’t being trained or if there isn’t adequate professional development being offered.


At PSG, we encourage workers of all ages to take advantage of the staff assistance and development opportunities we offer. For instance, the temp-to-perm route to employment can be a successful option to finding the right fit in a job and/or gaining a foothold in a particular company or industry.


Inside PSG – Frank’s Story

Are you an experienced recruiter or manager looking for your next challenge?


If so, hear why Frank Gentile thinks PSG is a great place to work.



“Teamwork is paramount here at PSG.”


“If you are an industry leader and want to work for an organization that fosters teamwork, staff development and has a strong company culture – we want to speak to you!”


-Frank Gentile, Director at PSG

PSG Runners Join Boston Corporate Challenge®

Congratulations to all of the PSG staff members who participated in this year’s JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge®. This is the 5th year PSG has fielded runners for the 3.5 mile race. PSG’s runners joined 12,000 other race entrants from 585 different companies. On behalf of all the participants, J.P. Morgan made donations to BUILD and The Greater Boston Food Bank.


Corp Challenge

PSG’s Aaron Green Joins CEO Panel on Gender at Work

PSG President Aaron Green was honored to participate in a panel discussion on gender pay equity at the recent New Hampshire Women’s Leadership Summit, held annually and sponsored by the New England Women’s Leadership Institute (NEWLI).


The panel discussed the gap in pay between women’s and men’s salaries, which nationally is 88 cents for women vs. $1 for men and in New Hampshire is 78 cents per dollar. Panel members discussed efforts to equalize pay, including the challenges facing organizations, leadership competencies necessary for enacting change, and encouraging women to ask for raises more often and to ask for larger raises. (Women typically ask for raises one-quarter as often as men do and typically ask for 30 percent less money in their raise.)


The New England Women’s Leadership Institute (NEWLI)’s mission is to educate professional women in the areas of Leadership, Vision and Values. Each year NEWLI hosts the Women’s Leadership Summit to raise awareness of the personal and professional capacities and skills needed by women to advance in the competitive and changing world of the 21st century. This regional event is aimed at women in both personal and professional growth and in optimizing heir career choices now and in the future.


Along with PSG’s Aaron Green, other members of the CEO panel included: Gary Chynoweth of Dyn, Inc.; Tiffany Eddy of FocusFirst Communications; Carl Famiglietti of Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico; and Tom Raffio of Northeast Delta Dental.


CEO panel discussing 'Gender at Work' at the 7th annual Women's Leadership Summit

CEO panel discussing ‘Gender at Work’ at the 7th annual Women’s Leadership Summit


Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.6 Percent

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report indicates that Massachusetts’ unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in May, down from 6 percent in April, and the lowest monthly rate in six years. More than 9,000 jobs were added to the Massachusetts economy in May.


The last time the state’s unemployment rate was below 6 percent was in July 2008. The current national unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.