Massachusetts, which more than any other state began the Industrial Revolution in the United States, continues to be an important manufacturing state. The primary economic activities that were the underpinnings of the colonial economy are no longer of major importance to Massachusetts. Like workers elsewhere, those in Massachusetts have turned in growing numbers to jobs in the service industries, in wholesale and retail trade, in finance and insurance, and in government. A major reason for the growth in service jobs has been the increased importance of tourism.
A special feature of the state’s labor force is its high proportion of professionally trained people, including engineers, scientists, doctors, educators, and technicians. Its labor force has helped Massachusetts turn to highly technical kinds of manufacturing and computer-related technology, thereby compensating for its severe losses in textile employment. Such economic change has occurred before in the state, and the citizens of Massachusetts have traditionally adapted well, relying on their skills of innovation, the state’s extensive resources, and well-established institutions to develop new economic opportunities. While manufacturing continued to be an important aspect of Massachusetts’s economy in the late 1990s, services were the primary contributors to both personal income and the gross state product.
Services, including the important finance, insurance, and real estate sector, produced four-fifths of the gross state product in 1996, whereas manufacturing provided just one-sixth of the total.
Massachusetts had a labor force of 3,244,000 people in 2008. Some 42 percent of the workers were employed in services, performing such jobs as working in restaurants or data processing. Another 19 percent worked in wholesale or retail trade; 9 percent in manufacturing; 13 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military; 22 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 17 percent in transportation or public utilities; 4 percent in construction;
1 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing. Employment in mining was insignificant. In 2007, 13 percent of Massachusetts workers were members of a labor union. "Massachusetts" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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