Boston Jobs Report: Slight Uptick in Unemployment

According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the non-seasonally adjusted Boston unemployment rate for September came in at 4.0 percent, up slightly from August. However, this is a full percentage point lower than the Boston unemployment rate from 12 months prior. Also in September, 11,400 Boston jobs were lost on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The monthly jobs report for Massachusetts as a whole showed the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in September. Statewide 7,100 positions were lost during the same reporting period.

What do these numbers mean for employers looking to hire in the current Boston jobs market?

“Boston unemployment is below the national average,” notes Corey Adams, a regional president at Robert Half. “That means competition has increased among businesses wanting to hire from a smaller talent pool. To succeed, firms need to be aware of the wants and needs of top candidates,” he adds. That includes understanding multiple generations. “Generation Z candidates, for example, are more interested in working for organizations that gel with their personal beliefs,” he says. “They want to make a difference, so you’ll need to impress upon them the reasons why the work your company does matters.”

Adams also highlights the need for an up-to-date perspective on regional salary benchmarks when hiring in the Boston jobs market. Resources such as Robert Half’s most recent salary guides and accompanying salary calculators provide companies with tools that allow them to evaluate starting salaries for in-demand positions in major markets on a regional and national basis. “To recruit the best, you need to take strides to match or exceed the compensation competitors are offering,” he suggests.

Adams says the low Boston unemployment rate means firms need to pay special attention to retaining their people. “Top performers today know they have options, so you want ot make sure your staff isn’t tempted by positions offered by other companies.” To encourage them to stay, he recommends reassessing your benefits package and opportunities for advancement as well as employing other retention strategies.

Are you finding it challenging to locate skilled talent in the current Boston jobs market? Contact your local Robert Half recruiter to make sure your organization is ready for anything. Call us at (855) 404-6500 today.