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State Unemployement Rate Drops Slightly
On: 11:44AM / Tuesday December 24, 2013
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BOSTON – The state's unemployment rate trended slightly downward for November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But for the first time in some years, it's shifted above the national unemployment rate.

The seasonally adjusted statewide November unemployment rate, released on Dec. 19, was 7.1 percent, down 0.1 of a percentage point over the month and up 0.4 of a percentage point over the year. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 6,500-job gain in November following a revised gain of 9,400 jobs in October.

The preliminary estimates put the unadjusted unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point over the month. Over the year, the statewide unadjusted rate was up 0.4 of a percentage point from the November 2012 rate of 6.2 percent.

Pittsfield's unadjusted rate was 7.7 percent, with more than 1,700 of the city's 22,664-member labor force out of work; North Adams' stood at 8.7, with 592 out of 6,822 out of work. For the Pittsfield Metropolitan area, including surrounding towns from Cheshire to Windsor to Washington, the jobless rate was slightly lower at 7.2 but still above last year's November rate of 6.6.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported on Tuesday that seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates for November were down in 15 areas, up in five areas, and unchanged in two areas.

 

More labor information here.



     
Summer Adds Seasonal Jobs Statewide in June
On: 09:37AM / Tuesday July 24, 2012
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BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on Tuesday reported that the June 2012 seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down in the Barnstable, Fall River, Nantucket and Tisbury areas; unchanged in the Pittsfield area; and up in the other seventeen areas over the month. Over the year, the rates are down in all 22 labor areas.
 
The Pittsfield metro area saw the addition of 300 jobs over May; both the North Adams and Great Barrington labor market areas also saw a jump in seasonal jobs.

In June 2012, over-the-month job gains occurred in eight of the 12 areas that estimates are published because of seasonal increases. The largest gains occurred in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Barnstable (Cape Cod), Worcester, and Springfield areas.

Statewide, the June seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 percent, up 0.5 of a percentage point from 5.8 percent recorded in May. Over the year, the statewide unadjusted rate was down 1.3 percentage points from the June 2011 unadjusted rate of 7.6 percent.
 
The seasonally unadjusted rate for Pittsfield is 6.2 percent, down from 7.4 percent in June 2011. North Adams is 7 percent, down from 8.7 in June 2011 but still up a half-point from May; Great Barrington's rate is 4.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent in June 2011.

Over the year, 11 of the 12 areas for which estimates are published added jobs with the largest percentage gains in the Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Peabody, and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy areas.
 
The seasonally adjusted statewide June unemployment rate, released on July 19, remained unchanged over the month at 6.0 percent, and down 1.4 percentage points from the 7.4 percent rate recorded in June 2011. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 2,600 job loss over the month.
 
Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi.


     
WMECo Survey Finds Low Cost, Skilled Labor Here
On: 02:58PM / Wednesday March 14, 2012
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. has released its annual economic review of the four westernmost counties.

"Pioneering Futures: Western Massachustts Economic Review 2012" looks at the demographics, work force, education, lifestyles and industries of Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

"Western Massachusetts offers a prosperous future for businesses looking to move to the region," said Peter J. Clarke, president and chief operating officer of WMECo. "WMECo proudly produces this publication in order to expose the many appealing attributes of this unique location."

The report compares the region to other areas of New England and the nation. Some of its findings are not surprising, such as lower housing and costs of living, the high number of educational and cultural institutions and the proximity of urban centers and rail and air transport. The cost of living is near the national average but housing costs are 6 percent below. The per capita income is $37,888.

Among the reports findings:

* A third of the population 25 and older holds at least bachelor's degree
* Less than 10 percent of total resident employement is in manufacturing
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of colleges and universities
* One of the nation's highest concentrations of health-care related employment

Find the entire report online here or request printed copies by calling 413-787-9333.


     
Workshop Slated on Handling Employee Leave, Injuries
On: 02:00PM / Friday January 27, 2012
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LEE, Mass. — L.V. Toole Insurance Agency of Lee and Skoler, Abbott and Presser PC of Springfield is sponsoring a free workshop for employers dealing with employee leaves and injuries.

The workshop is on Thursday, Feb. 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hampton Inn in Lenox. A continental breakfast will be served.

Susan G. Fentin, a labor and employment attorney in Springfield, will present "Leaves, Disabilities and Injuries: the Intersection of the FMLA, ADAAA and Workers Compensation Act." She will cover the basics of the workers' compensation and the Family and Medical Leave and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments acts to help employers understand how to handle employees whose physical or mental conditions qualify them for protection.

Fentin is an attorney with Skoler, Abbott and Presser, which specializes in labor and employment law and represents only management. She is an associate editor of the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter and regularly presents master classes on the FMLA to employers.

To register, email Heather Forman at heather@tooleinsurance.com or call 413-243-0089.


     
Pittsfield Sees Job Gains Over Year
Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development On: 10:31AM / Tuesday December 20, 2011
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BOSTON — The Pittsfield metropolitan area had one of the biggest percentage gains in jobs over the past year, up 3.7 percent, as the state has continued to see a drop in unemployment rates.

Pittsfield's jobless rate (seasonally unadjusted) has dropped from 8.1 percent last November to 6.6 percent, below the state jobless rate.

The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development on Tuesday reported that the November seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down over-the-month in 19 areas and up in three areas — Tisbury, Nantucket and Barnstable. Statewide, the November seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, down from 6.8 percent in October. Over-the-year the statewide rate was down 1.7 percentage points from the 8.1 percent rate recorded for November 2010. All 22 labor area rates were down over the year.

In November, over-the-month job gains occurred in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Worcester, Framingham, Springfield, Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner, and New Bedford areas. Five areas posted job losses, including the Pittsfield, which shed 300 jobs.

Over-the-year, all 12 areas added jobs with the largest gains in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Worcester, Framingham and Springfield areas.  The largest percentage gains occurred in the Pittsfield, Worcester and Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton areas. 

Pittsfield Metro  
Total Employment
Over-the-year
Nov. 2010 35,600 8.2 % 1,300 job gain
Nov. 2011 36,900 6.6% up 3.7 %
The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate released on Dec. 15 showed a 5,000 over-the-month job gain. The seasonally adjusted statewide November unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent from the October rate of 7.3 percent, and was down 1.3 percentage points from the 8.3 percent rate recorded in November 2010. The national rate is 8.6 percent, down from 9.8 percent in November 2010.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

The December 2011 unemployment rate, labor force data and jobs estimates for Massachusetts will be released on Jan. 19, 2012; local unemployment statistics will be released on Jan. 24, 2012. Detailed labor market information is available at www.mass.gov/lmi. See the revised February 2011 Media Advisory annual schedule for complete listing of release dates.

pittsfiedl   total employment nov. 2010  35,600  nov. 2011  36,900  OTY 2010 1300 jobs for 3.7 percent




     
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News Headlines
North Adams Closes Beaver Street Over Mudslide Fears
MCLA Opens New Facilities Building in North Adams
State Pothole Funds Helpful But Not Enough
Holiday Hours: Patriots Day
Pittsfield Lakefront Property Being Developed on Churchill Street
Committee Finds Leaking at Hoosac Valley High
Three Resign From Williamstown Affordable Housing Committee
Williamstown Fire Committee OKs Budget Request to Voters
"Draft Day": It's a Coin Toss
"Muppets Most Wanted": More or Less

 


Bill Schmick separates the bull from the bears in his weekly columns on investing and market wrap-ups.



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