Unemployment (Including Closures and Layoffs)

Two more unemployment items:

  • The unemployment rate in our fair commonwealth, Massachusetts, went over 7% for the first time in over 15 years. The Boston Globe reported that the rate is now 7.4%. From the article:
    The Massachusetts unemployment rate in January jumped above 7 percent for the first time in nearly 16 years as the state’s employers slashed nearly 5,000 jobs, the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported today.

    The state’s jobless rate hit 7.4 percent in January, up from a revised 6.4 percent in December. It’s the highest rate since June 1993, when Massachusetts was recovering from the deep recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are now more than 250,000 unemployed in Massachusetts, up by nearly 100,000, or about 60 percent, from a year ago.

    The national unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in January. The US Labor Department reports February employment statistics tomorrow. Economists forecast that the national jobless rate rose to about 8 percent last month as employers cut hundreds of thousand more jobs.

    In Massachusetts, employers cut jobs for the eighth consecutive month. The state has lost about 73,000 jobs over the past year, or about 2 percent of total employment.

    Read the full article.

  • We’ve been posting the weekly unemployment report from Mark Heschmeyer of the CoStar Group. This is from his report for March 1-7:

    Biggest Job Cuts May Have Peaked

    Companies are now settling in to what many believe will be a long recession. More than 60% of companies say that they believe their business results will not hit bottom until the end of 2009 or into 2010, according to Watson Wyatt’s most recent human resource survey.

    In response, many employers made significant changes to their HR programs between October and February, including layoffs, salary and hiring freezes and resetting merit increase budgets for the upcoming year.

    However, our results show that many companies are putting the drastic cuts behind them and are now looking to make smaller cost-cutting changes moving forward.

    Read the rest of the report.

  • If weekly news of unemployment isn’t frequent enough for you, check out Layoff Daily. Hat-tip to Bob F. for letting us know about this cheery site. Note that you can get the Layoff Daily iPhone App at the iTunes Store for just $1.99 (though I really wonder who would do so, and why).

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