Boston Jobs Report: Slight Increase in Boston Unemployment

The most recent monthly jobs report shows the non-seasonally adjusted Boston unemployment rate for June as 4.3 percent, 0.5 percentage points higher than the previous month, but down a full percentage point from 12 months prior. Additionally, June saw 4,600 Boston jobs added on a seasonally adjusted basis.

For the state of Massachusetts as a whole, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June holds steady from the previous month at 4.6 percent, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points from the previous year. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s jobs increased by 10,500 over the past month.

How do these findings affect recruitment and retention for the area?

Ryan Sutton, senior regional president at Robert Half, says that even with slightly higher Boston unemployment, “in-demand candidates are highly sought. Many have multiple offers and some even have pending counteroffers. These factors lead to a tougher hiring process, even after identifying the candidates you would like to hire.” Sutton emphasizes the importance of companies adapting to this ever-evolving recruiting landscape. He advises against traditional three-step hiring methods, which can often take several weeks. These practices can leave employers with limited candidates, as top talent is quickly hired off the market. “In terms of recruitment, companies need to embrace an expedited process,” Sutton says.

The need for adaptability in this environment spills over into retention plans, too. Sutton also says organizations should consider making market-based salary adjustments before they’re approached about a raise to ensure they’re paying employees what they’re worth. According to a Robert Half survey, 25 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled say they’ve lost a good employee in the past 12 months to a higher-paying competitor. As Sutton explains, current employees and candidates are “dictating the terms of the market more than ever.”

How is the Boston unemployment rate affecting your recruitment and retention efforts? Share your experiences in the comments.