The 2013 outlook: Slow hiring, then it picks up

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By Megan Woolhouse | The Boston Globe | January 13, 2013

The Massachusetts economy grew slowly last year, but economists predict it will gain steam throughout 2013, adding jobs at a moderate pace.

The fastest job growth will occur in construction, as housing and commercial real estate markets rebound, as well as in two technology related sectors, professional and business services and information services, and leisure and hospitality, according to forecasts.

The economy will “slowly accelerate, and by the end of the year we should have stronger growth,” said Northeastern University economist Alan Clayton-Matthews. He added, “The worst may be now.”

A slow pace of hiring marked the final months of 2012 for Massachusetts as concerns about how Congress would manage the combination of tax increases and budget cuts known as the fiscal cliff led both consumers and businesses to hold back on spending. The continued economic struggles in Europe, the state’s largest export market, also had a significant impact, slowing demand for Massachusetts technology, pharmaceutical, and other products made here. Read More

Manufacturers and businesses struggle to find skilled workers

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By Shira Schoenberg | MassLive.com | December 10, 2012

Dozens of people walked around a recent Somerville job fair handing out resumes. There was Jim Lundy, 53, an English teacher with a Ph.D. and 30 years of experience. When he could not find a teaching job, he started a business that sells used blue jeans, but has been unsuccessful. There was Isabel Sendao, 38, who lost her job in marketing and sales a year and a half ago and is keeping current on the latest technology while interviewing for jobs. There was Sandy Carr, 51, who worked at non-profit and social service jobs for three decades. She was laid off when a medical billing firm went under and has been doing temporary and contract work until she can find something full-time.

“Job searching’s a constant thing to be doing these days,” Carr said.

At the same time, there are businesses in Massachusetts looking for workers. Denise Petersen, who works in human resources for B&E Precision Aircraft Components in Southwick, said her company is looking for computer numerically controlled machinists and burr hands, a type of skilled laborer. The company is competing with other local tool companies and having a hard time finding workers with the necessary skills. “As experienced or skilled workers leave, it’s getting more difficult to find people in those areas that have experience,” Petersen said. Read More

Attrition seen as threat to manufacturing

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From Wire and Staff Reports | Gloucester Daily Times | December 2, 2012

Manufacturing in Massachusetts faces a threat to its survival as older manufacturing workers retire without younger workers in line to replace them, according to a new study.

During the next decade, approximately 100,000 manufacturing jobs will open up as older workers retire. Manufacturing firms will find it tough to replace them because younger workers are not attracted to the sector, according to Barry Bluestone, director of the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.

The outlook for manufacturing was discussed during the first meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative – a group of executives, industry experts and state economic development officials organized to strengthen the sector.

The 100,000 figure – or 10,000 jobs a year – is based on flat growth in manufacturing, Bluestone said. The number of jobs could be higher. The report comes on the heels of other figures reported by the Times that show Gloucester has already been shedding higher-paying manufacturing jobs, while gaining in the retail and service sectors. Read More

Help wanted in manufacturing

help wanted

Bay State gears up to fill 100,000 projected job openings

By Marie Szaniszlo | The Boston Herald | November 27, 2012

State officials and industry leaders today will hold the first meeting of the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative to draw attention to a sector whose work force is aging and projected to have 100,000 job openings over the next decade.

While some analysts have predicted the decline of industry as a major economic player, manufacturing is Massachusetts’ fifth-largest private sector, accounting for some 7,500 companies and 250,000 jobs, said Northeastern University Professor Barry Bluestone, who serves on the collaborative’s board.

“A lot of people don’t know that Massachusetts manufactures things,” said Mitch Tyson, the collaborative’s industry co-chairman and former CEO of PRI Automation. “The reality is so much of high-tech products in the state are made here. All manufacturing jobs have not moved to China.” Read More

U.S. jobless rate climbs to 7.9 percent; 171,000 jobs added

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By Frank Quaratiello and Ira Kantor | The Boston Herald | November 2, 2012

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October as the nation added 171,000 jobs and the presidential candidates were quick to jump on the economic news.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report also revised the number of jobs created in September to add another 34,000, increasing that figure to 148,000. The August jobs number was revised upward to show 192,000 jobs created.

Both President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney found something to shout to the rooftops on the campaign trail today.

In Springfield, Ohio, the president touted the report: “This morning we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months. … Our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. …. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing construction is on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending; al-Qaeda’s been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead.” Read More

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