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55,500 jobs added to Massachusetts private sector

In the past year, Massachusetts has added 55,500 jobs between December 2012 and December 2013, with 98 percent of those being in the private sector, according to a study released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Thursday. 

In December 2012, the unemployment rate was at 6.7 percent, grew to 7.2 percent in June and then dropped back down to 7 percent in December 2013. However, the amount of jobs grew steadily, reaching a total of 10,300 jobs added in December 2013 alone, according to the Thursday report.

“We’re really excited to see such a spike in job growth in the past year in the Commonwealth,” said Robert Oftring, director of legislative affairs at the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. “We think that investing in such things like innovation, education, transportation and infrastructure is a good way to increase our workforce and encourage businesses in Massachusetts to continue hiring.”

Oftring said the addition of 55,500 jobs is the largest increase in jobs since 1999. The private sector added jobs in professional, scientific and business services, as well as in trade, transportation, utilities, leisure and hospitality financial activities.

This growth in the job market happened under the leadership of former Secretary of the Labor and Workforce development Joanne Goldstein, who was succeeded by Rachel Kaprielian on Jan. 17.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve the public by working towards job creation and economic growth that will benefit Massachusetts residents and businesses,” said Kaprielian in a Jan. 17 release. “I share Governor Patrick’s commitment to the state’s continuing economic recovery by ensuring that the skills of the Commonwealth’s workforce meet the continuously evolving needs of our employers.”

Several residents said they were happy with this increase in jobs because the job market is significantly tougher than usual right now and with the economy struggling it is hard to find financial security.

“It is so much harder to find jobs now than when I was young,” said Irma Ortiz, 80, of Allston. “It is really good if they truly did add that many jobs, no matter what field they are in, because the important thing is that people get started in the job market and then work their way up. That’s what I did. Experience will get you really far.”

Bibiche Mayombo, 31, of Boston, said she agrees getting a quick start in the job market is key.

“I got my job right out of college and then worked my way up,” she said. “It is tough right now because education is becoming more common and the workforce is more competitive, but as long as these jobs are in respectable fields, it will help a lot.”

William Ellis, 19, of Boston, said the pressure of making yourself competitive for the job market is extreme and any additional jobs is good news.

“I am just a freshman in college, but you already have to start thinking about what the market will be like when you graduate,” he said. “55,000 additional jobs in Massachusetts is great because Massachusetts is a big college state which means there will be a ton of graduates looking for jobs. At the same time, you don’t want new college graduates taking jobs away from deserving adults. It’s great if there’s space in the job market for everyone.”

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