Massachusetts added 12,700 jobs last month as the commonwealth continued to post stronger economic numbers than the nation as a whole.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported that six of the 10 private industry sectors added jobs in July, with the largest gains coming in Education and Health Services; Other Services; Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Manufacturing; Professional and Business Services; and Financial Activities. The July job gain follows a revised 9,400 job gain in June, previously reported as a 10,400 job gain.
The unemployment rate remained steady for a third consecutive month at 7.6 percent, well below the national rate of 9.1 percent.
It is, overall, another pretty decent report – the third in the past four months. While the month-to-month fluctuations may arise from statistical issues, we do seem to be seeing a moderately positive trend. The job growth is actually quite strong – what moderates the performance is lack of movement in the labor force. In a situation of reasonably robust economic growth and job creation, we should be seeing more people come back into the workforce.
Massachusetts has had much better job growth than the nation in recent months, although the most recent national report was pretty good. The MassBenchmarks indices prepared by Alan Clayton-Matthews at Northeastern University, designed to track Gross State Product, show Massachusetts outperforming the nation by a significant margin (4.3 percent annual growth) in the first half of 2011.
The employment report showed that Massachusetts employment grew by 56,800, or 1.8 percent, between July 2010 and July 2011. Private sector jobs are up 61,900, a growth rate of 2.2 percent, with gains in nine of the ten sectors. Year-to-date, (December 2010 to July 2011), 53,000 jobs have been added in the Bay State with 58,200 jobs in the private sector.
Manufacturing gained 2,400 jobs (+0.9%) in July as Durable Goods gained 1,600 jobs (+0.9%) and Non-Durable Goods were up 800 jobs (+0.9%). From July 2010 to July 2011, Manufacturing has gained 5,900 (+2.3%) jobs with seven out of every ten job gains in Durable Goods. Durable Goods growth industries include Fabricated Metal Products; Machinery; Computer and Electronic Products; and Electrical Equipment, Appliances and Components.