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Boston Herald: Market Basket saga skews jobless numbers

The Economic & Public Policy Research unit's director Daniel Hodge was quoted in an article appearing in the Boston Herald, which examined the impact that the recent Market Basket labor dispute had on overall unemployment rates in Massachusetts.

While the 5,300 jobs lost by Market Basket employees after they walked off the job in July led the state’s retail sector to record a loss of 9,800 jobs, economists said the jobs report pointed to yet another month of slow, steady job growth for the Commonwealth, with the total number of people who are employed, or unemployed and actively looking for work increasing.

The labor force grew by 5,800 as more people began looking for work last month, pushing the unemployment rate up 0.2 percent to 5.8 percent.

“Some portion of those new entrants are people who were discouraged” and stopped looking for work, said Michael Goodman, an economist and director of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis. “Usually that’s related to a feeling that there might be more opportunities.”

Another positive, according to Daniel Hodge, is the industries that are continuing to grow. “(The state is) still seeing gains in some of the industries that you might expect like education and health care, leisure and hospitality, information,” he said. “Those are all key, foundational growth sectors for the state.”

Read article: Market Basket saga skews jobless numbers

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