Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.6 Percent

The unemployment rate in Massachusetts fell for the fourth consecutive month, from 3.6 percent in September to 3.3 percent in October, the lowest rate since 2001.

 

With a gain of 1,700 positions, the professional, scientific and business sector added more jobs in October than any other industry tracked by the government. Several of the state’s industries experienced job losses, however, including education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and financial activities.

 

The job losses could be an indicator that employers are not adding jobs because they cannot find the talent to fill them. Massachusetts is currently at full employment.

 

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop

The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell again, from 3.9 percent in August to 3.6 percent in September, the lowest level it has been since June 2001.

 

Massachusetts employers created 5,100 jobs in September with the biggest gains coming in education and health services, leisure and hospitality and manufacturing, according to the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

“The rate has fallen dramatically in the last two months, 0.3 percent this month, and 0.2 percent the month before,” Ronald L. Walker II, the state’s secretary of labor and workforce development, said in a statement. “While these are preliminary estimates, this is very good news for the Commonwealth.”

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate is lower than the national rate of 5 percent.

Report from SIA’s Collaboration in the Gig Economy Conference

Last week PSG President Aaron Green attended the Staffing Industry Analysts’ first conference on Collaboration in the Gig Economy  in Las Vegas. Green shares his thoughts on what the Gig Economy means for employers and candidates:

 

“This was the first time that the staffing industry has joined together with human cloud companies and large VMS companies to discuss the changes in our industry,” says Green. “We’ve seen how employers and workers are connecting in new ways, and as an industry, we’re talking about how we can be part of, and add value to, that new way of connecting.”

 

Green adds, “There are a lot of new and different tools on the market now to help employers and candidates connect and to make the transaction more efficient.”

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Attendees at the conference heard from a range of platform providers, including online staffing and just-in-time staffing providers, as well as human cloud companies and private talent clouds, that integrate with VMS, MSP and RPO technologies. Companies such as 99 Designs, UpWork, IQNavigator, Allegis Global Solutions, Catalant, UpCounsel, Freelancer.com, WorkMarket, Lystable, MBO Partners, Wonolo, Shiftgig, Blue Crew, and Gigwalk participated in panel discussions and offered best practice perspectives.

 

Green likens the trend to a B2C movement for the staffing industry, with more opportunity for direct-to-consumer connections. Speakers at the conference claim that 99.7 percent of transactions on a web site don’t involve human beings anymore and many of the functions are being automated and changing dramatically, such as the need to submit a resume, the ability to search for jobs, the shift from candidate references to ratings, and the streamlining of the payment process.

 

Green thinks there are opportunities for staffing firms to take advantage of technology and new platforms and combine it with their value-added services. He also believes that the sector is a “bit like the wild west right now” and that we’ll see more regulations and worker protections in the near future.

Massachusetts’ Unemployment Rate is Lowest in 15 Years

News that Massachusetts’ unemployment rate is at the lowest point since 2001  follows a trend that we’ve been experiencing for several years now. The unemployment rate has been decreasing, especially among workers with college degrees in professional roles, as the economy has continued to get healthier.

 

While this news excludes other trends, such as the number of workers who are in jobs that they actually like or those who are working part-time when they’d prefer to be in a full-time position, it is trend in the right direction. Another positive trend includes the recent news that wage growth hit 2.6 percent for the past year, the highest level since the Great Recession. Job and wage growth are signs that employers are feeling confident and investing in the economy.

 

What does this mean for employers? As many Boston firms know, hiring talent when unemployment rates are low means being flexible, acting quickly, and staying focused. It’s also important to focus on retaining existing staff and to make sure you are on top of staff development and promotions to reduce the risk of losing people. PSG is proud to help clients meet their recruiting and hiring goals in this challenging market.

 

Massachusetts Adds 7,300 Jobs in July; Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.1 Percent

According to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Massachusetts added 7,300 jobs in July 2016 and saw its unemployment rate fall a tenth of a percentage point to 4.1 percent.

 

July estimates show 3.4 million Massachusetts residents were employed and 146,100 were unemployed, for a total labor force of 3.6 million. At 4.1 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is down 0.7 percent over the year from 4.8 percent in July 2015. Over the year, the labor force participation rate has increased 0.1 of a percentage point compared to July 2015.

 

Nationally, the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.

Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Stays Steady

The Massachusetts unemployment rate remained at 4.2 percent in June for the third consecutive month, according to data released by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Massachusetts added 16,400 jobs in June for a total of 48,100 jobs added in the first half of 2016. Some of the jobs reflect the settlement of the Verizon strike, the state has said. Over the year, from June 2015 to June 2016, the state added 67,300 jobs.

 

In Massachusetts, there were 25,000 fewer unemployed people and 49,600 more employed persons in June 2016 compared to June 2015.

 

The Massachusetts unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.9 percent.

 

PSG Continues to Rank as Largest Boston-Based Temporary Staffing Firm in Massachusetts

Professional Staffing Group is among the largest temporary staffing firms in Massachusetts, according to the Boston Business Journal. The BBJ ranked PSG #3 on its annual list of the area’s largest temporary staffing firms and the largest firm listed with headquarters in Massachusetts. The rankings are based on the average number of temporary workers supplied daily in Massachusetts. This is the 14th consecutive year that PSG has been named to the list.

PSG President Aaron Green attributed the firm’s growth and success to its practice of collaborating with clients so they are best positioned to make successful hires, including showcasing clients’ opportunities while shortening the hiring process, all without sacrificing the effective screening of candidates.

PSG provides staffing services for clients in need of office support, technical, creative, finance, healthcare and human resources talent in Massachusetts.

By the Numbers: Q2 2016

At this halfway point in 2016, we took a look at key data points from the second quarter. We found:

 

  • The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent in both April and May, the lowest it’s been in 15 years.

 

  • Labor force participation rate in Massachusetts — defined as “the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks” remained at 65 percent.

 

  • The Massachusetts U-6 unemployment number, which counts those working part-time who would rather work full-time and those who have stopped looking for jobs, is 9.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

  • The national unemployment rate remained below 5 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008.

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  • However, the pace of adding jobs to the economy has definitely slowed. The BLS announced that only 38,000 jobs were added to the national economy in May, compared with the more than 200,000 jobs that had been added on average each month since January 2013. (Some special factors, such as the Verizon strike, account for some of those jobs.)

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  • In its latest Beige Book report (based on readings from the 12 Fed regional banks that were collected before May 23), the Federal Reserve reported that while employment grew only modestly since its last report, “tight labor markets were widely reported” in most areas and that employers across the country were having a harder time finding workers to fill jobs. Wages were up modestly, especially in areas where workers were in high demand.

 

  • Massachusetts’ economy is the fourth best in the country, according to a recent report from WalletHub. The report uses data from 2013 until 2016 to compare states across three key metrics that include economic activity, economic health and innovation potential. Massachusetts ranked first among states with the largest percentage of fast-growing firms and the percentage of jobs in the high-tech industries. Massachusetts was 19th on the list of states with the lowest unemployment rate (4.4 percent) and ranked 15th in the nation in terms of GDP growth (2.3 percent).

 

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Massachusetts Unemployment Rate Stays at 4.2 Percent

According to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts held at 4.2 percent in May, the lowest rate Massachusetts has seen in 15 years.

 

Statistics show Massachusetts lost 6,400 jobs in May, which the state is blaming on the Verizon strike. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald L. Walker, II said: “The labor force continues to grow, with 7,000 more employed residents and 2,000 fewer unemployed residents in May. Eduation and health care, and professional, scientific and business services sectors continue to generate the most jobs in the Commonwealth.”

 

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in May.

Ask A Recruiter: Tailoring A Resume

Q: I don’t really have to edit and update my resume for every single job I pursue, do I?

 

A: Allow me to be a little tongue in cheek here. Of course not…as long as you don’t mind having fewer interviews.

 

Just keep in mind that the more interested you are in a particular job, the more tailoring your resume to that specific job will help you achieve your goal. If you were a close relative or friend, I’d tell you to tailor your resume to any job you apply. And, it’s not that hard.

 

You know why? Because the employer has already told you what they’re looking for. All you have to do is show them how your experience and skills match what they’re seeking. Take a look back at the job description. Now read it again. That description is going to be your guiding light as you review and edit your resume for the job opening. The first person who reviews your resume often refers to themselves as a “screener”. This means your goal is to get them to not say “no” to your resume.

 

Let’s start at the top. Although we don’t recommend it, many candidates like to include a career summary or their objectives at the top of the page. As we said in our previous post, Why Your Resume Didn’t Get Past the First Round, those statements may be important to you, but they’re not what the screener is looking for. If you have such a paragraph on your resume, it should mirror the job description exactly. If you have 4 out of 6 required skills, you should list those 4 skills and no other additional skills or qualifications.

 

Of course, you can only tailor so much; you are who you are. But you can change how you present yourself and your experience. The best way to do this is to use bullet points that directly correlate to job responsibilities. Highlight your current responsibilities that match those in the open job. Again, it’s not about highlighting what you think are your best attributes, it’s about highlighting the experiences that are most relevant to the job and those that best match what the employer is looking for.

“The best way to do this is to use bullet points that directly correlate to job responsibilities.”

Make your accomplishments stand out by making them easy and obvious for the recruiter to see. We tell candidates to think about “what they did” and turn that into an impactful accomplishment by quantifying it in terms of efficiency or time and costs saved.

 

For example, instead of saying that you are a “proficient user” of Excel, tailor this to better illustrate your proficiency, “as demonstrated by creating 14 spreadsheets per week, maintaining 26 weekly reports, and instituting pivot tables on weekly report in Excel.” Reading that will give the reviewer a very detailed and descriptive understanding of your capabilities.

 

Take it a step further by describing the impact your work had. For example, change “my primary responsibility was creating weekly reports for the executive team” to “By adding pivot tables to Excel, I saved senior management two hours of research time per week.”

 

Another way to change how you present your experience is by tailoring your previous job titles to the current position. Are you interviewing for a role as a marketing assistant? Highlight other positions you held as an ‘assistant,’ even if they weren’t in marketing. Consider tailoring the dates in your employment history so that your most relevant experiences are pushed to the top. We’re not recommending that you falsify any parts of your job history, but that you present your past experiences in a way that most closely matches what the prospective employer is looking for.

 

Again, remember that it’s important to write about accomplishments the recruiter is looking for and that best match the job requirements. Don’t include accomplishments — however great they seem — if they’re not relevant.

 

 

 

Jim Pickering has worked at Professional Staffing Group for 8 years. He started in PSG’s entry-level training program and is now a senior recruiting manager. Jim oversees a team that sources and pre-screens candidates for PSG’s clients.

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