Massachusetts added 13K jobs in January

Unemployment rate at 3.2 percent in January

(WWLP) – Massachusetts added 13,000 jobs during the month of January.

Job gains occurred in the fields of trade, transportation, utilities, financial activities, construction, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, information, and government, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s January unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.2 percent from December’s 3.1 percent, which is still lower than the national rate of 4.8 percent unemployment. Last January, Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

Executive Director of the Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Teri Anderson, told 22News the local jobs most in demand right now are in manufacturing, health care, and food services. This includes jobs like mechanics, health aids, certified nursing assistants, cooks, and food servers.

“People aren’t really getting into those fields anymore. In my opinion, let’s get them into those three and we’ll work from there,” said Dave Syphers of Northampton.

In the last two months, the career center has placed 82 people into jobs, and has helped 34 people go through training programs. So far in this fiscal year, they’ve placed 410 people in jobs.

The unemployment rate for Hampshire and Franklin counties combined is 2.5%.

According to a release sent to 22News from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Governor Charlie Baker’s administration awarded $7.9 million in Workforce Training Fund grants to more than 100 Massachusetts companies Wednesday, which is expected to create more than 500 new jobs.

“Workforce training grants invest in the strength of our workers and Massachusetts’s labor market,” Baker said. “We are pleased these funds can assist workers in developing the skills they need to advance their careers and help businesses foster an employment pool which better matches their growth needs.”

The Workforce Training Fund provides grants of up to $250,000 to companies so they can pay for employee training. They’re awarded to projects that focus on upgrading workers’ skills, and increase productivity.