Mass. adds jobs for the first time in a year
Massachusetts gained 4,900 jobs last month, the first increase in a year, according to a survey of employers' payrolls from the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
But the state's unemployment rate continued to climb, from 8.0 percent in April to 8.2 percent in May, even though the labor force shrank slightly last month, according to the state's survey of households. The US unemployment rate jumped from 8.9 percent in April to 9.4 percent in May.
The unemployment rate and payroll figures occasionally give conflicting signals about the direction of the state's economy because they are based on different surveys. The employer payroll figures are generally considered more reliable because they're based on a wider survey of 8,000 employers in the state. But the payroll survey can miss changes in unemployment at small businesses or with people who are self-employed, who aren't included in the poll.
According to the payroll survey, the state saw the greatest gains in education, health care, professional services and hospitality.
Specifically, the professional, scientific and business services sector gained 2,600 jobs, including 1,300 jobs in the subcategory that includes temporary help agencies. Education and health services gained 2,500 jobs, mostly in health care and social assistance, with smaller gains in educational services.
The state's leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, gained 2,500 jobs. The state's trade, transportation and utilities sector gained 400 jobs, with an 800-job increase in transportation, warehousing and utilities partially offset by declines in wholesale businesses.
On the other hand, the construction sector continued to contract as many major development projects remain on hold; the sector lost 2,600 jobs in May.
And state and local and federal government also cut jobs. Overall, government agencies cut 2,100 jobs in Massachusetts last month.
Meanwhile, the financial sector notched an increase of 400 jobs. The information sector lost 100 jobs. Manufacturing lost 300 jobs, but that was the smallest decline in more than a year. (By Todd Wallack, Globe staff)