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Data revisions show solid job growth in Mass.

In light of recently revised state employment data, job growth in Massachusetts for the fourth quarter of 2011 was higher than estimates previously released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

MassBenchmarks now estimates that the number of payroll jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) in Massachusetts in December 2011 was 3,241,800, or 30,000 more than the official payroll job count of 3,211,800 estimated by BLS.  MassBenchmarks estimates that job growth in 2011 – from December 2010 to December 2011 – was 39,100 or 1.2 percent, significantly faster than the 9,100 jobs and 0.3 percent rate of growth reported by BLS.

The discrepancies are attributed to new data for the fourth quarter of 2011, which includes Massachusetts employers who are participants in the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. These new estimates provide the first preview of what the official revisions for 2011 will be when they are released in early March 2013, after the BLS incorporates this data into its annual benchmark revisions.

The largest differences in employment were in Educational Services, which now appears to have added 9,000 more jobs, and Construction, which added an estimated 7,000 more jobs in 2011 than officially reported.   The largest downward revision was in Manufacturing (4,500 jobs).

Additional data can be found in the official MassBenchmarks release here.

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UMass Donahue Institute

University of Massachusetts Amherst

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