All About the Western Mass MA Job Market
Western Massachusetts is made up of four counties: Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden. The largest town (among many!) in Western Massachusetts is Springfield, which has 154,082 residents and is the third largest city in MA and the fourth largest in New England. Dr. Seuss was born there! The four counties combined have a population of 814,967 residents, which is greater than any one of the six smallest U.S. states. Many residents of Western MA are concentrated in the Hartford Metro area. Besides this area, Housatonic-Hoosic valley, and the NY Metro Area, Western Mass is relatively sparsely populated. It is instead decorated with lakes, hills, and farms.
According to MassLive.com, "The state's population estimate grew a scant 1.3 percent - compared to the 7.2 percent growth rate nationally - while Springfield's population declined 1.41 percent." Foreclosure figures have also doubled in Hampden County, while the national figure has increased 50%. Although the diagnosis may sound grim, there still is hope for jobs in Western Mass
. IT jobs are on the rise. There is currently a 20% drop in students getting computer related degrees. According to a report from BusinessWeek, "The cities identified as the best for IT jobs include; Hartford, Providence, Bridgeport, Boston, Albany, NY and Manchester, NH. Without a doubt not only will educational credentials payoff, you won't have to go far to pick-up your paycheck."
Western Mass has over 30,500 businesses. Some of the larger ones (and their workforce sizes) include:
• Baystate Healh- 10,000; Springfield, MA - Health Care
• University of Massachusetts- 8,201; Amherst, MA - Universities & Colleges
• Massachusetts Mutual Life Ins.- 6,300; Springfield, MA and Enfield, CT- Financial Services
• Bank of America- 5,100; Springfield, MA and MetroHartford, CT - Financial Services
• Mercy Medical Center and Sisters of Providence Health System- 5,000 Springfield, MA - Health Care
• Big Y Foods, Inc.- 4,200; Springfield, MA - Supermarkets & Grocery Stores
Information courtesy of Western Mass EDC.
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