By G. Michael Dobbs
BOSTON Although statewide there was good news about unemployment, locally there are still challenges.
Kevin Lynn, the business manager of FutureWorks, reported last week that 238 jobs were posted in August, a decrease of 42 percent from last August.
"This is the fifth straight month where this measure failed to equal or out perform the same month in the previous year. The number of people telling FutureWorks they found work (238) declined by 23 percent versus August 2011 (308)," he said.
Lynn added, "The average wage at hire was a bright spot, jumping $1.17 an hour to $14.12."
The number of job seekers served (3,793) rose by 30 percent compared to August of last year and the number of unemployed job seekers served (3,511) increased 33 percent from the previous August. The increases in both groups can be attributed, in part, to a review of people receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which is being conducted by Massachusetts Career Centers, Lynn noted.
The greatest number of hires was in healthcare and social assistance.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported last week that the August 2012 seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates were down in 17 areas around the state; unchanged in three areas; and up in two areas over the month. Over the year, the rates are down in all 22 labor areas.
Statewide, the August seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, down 0.2 of a percentage point from 6.6 percent recorded in July.
In August 2012, over the month job gains occurred in two of the 12 areas for which estimates are published. The largest gain occurred in the Worcester area followed by the Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area. The Peabody area had no change in the employment level over the month. The remaining eight areas recorded a loss.