Regional Economy

north-shore-narrowchart
One of the key services that the WIB offers is
providing relevant regional economic and labor market information to support workforce development on the North Shore.

Population & Demographics for the North Shore, 2015 American Community Survey


In 2015, the North Shore population was 419,939 which is 6.18% of the Massachusetts population. The table below shows population totals and racial demographics for the cities and towns that are a part of the North Shore.

Additional population data can be found on the US Census Bureau’s web site.

Population & Demographics, 2015 Total Population White Black or African American American Indian and Alaska Native Asian Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander  Some other race  Two or more races Hispanic or Latino
Massachusetts 6,794,422 73.0% 6.8% 0.1% 6.3% 0.0% 0.7% 1.9% 11.2%
North Shore 419,939 78.3% 4.0% 0.1% 3.3% 0.0% 0.4% 1.6% 12.2%
Beverly 40,670 91.9% 1.3% 0.0% 1.9% 0.0% 0.2% 1.3% 3.5%
Danvers 27,400 92.1% 1.2% 0.1% 2.8% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0% 2.8%
Essex 3,608 97.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 0.7%
Gloucester 29,399 94.5% 0.9% 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.6% 1.2% 2.1%
Hamilton 8,102 88.5% 2.1% 0.0% 6.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.7% 2.0%
Ipswich 13,616 96.1% 0.7% 0.1% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.9% 1.8%
Lynn 91,626 41.2% 11.6% 0.3% 7.8% 0.1% 0.8% 2.7% 35.5%
Lynnfield 12,270 90.9% 2.0% 0.0% 4.5% 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% 1.6%
Manchester-by-the-Sea 5,286 97.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.2% 0.5% 1.9%
Marblehead 20,270 93.9% 1.4% 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0% 3.0%
Middleton 9,436 81.6% 3.1% 0.0% 4.7% 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 9.8%
Nahant 3,454 93.1% 1.2% 0.0% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.0%
Peabody 52,065 85.7% 2.0% 0.0% 1.7% 0.0% 0.8% 1.3% 8.6%
Rockport 7,111 96.6% 1.7% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 1.3%
Salem 42,499 73.7% 4.5% 0.4% 2.3% 0.0% 0.4% 2.1% 16.5%
Saugus 27,620 88.4% 2.3% 0.3% 3.2% 0.0% 0.1% 1.2% 4.5%
Swampscott 14,036 91.7% 0.4% 0.0% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 2.5% 4.5%
Topsfield 6,379 95.2% 0.1% 0.0% 2.4% 0.1% 0.0% 1.6% 0.5%
Wenham 5,092 93.2% 1.5% 0.0% 1.9% 0.0% 0.3% 1.0% 2.0%
Five Year Population & Demographic Percent Change, 2011-2015

The North Shore population grew by 11,889, from 408,050 in 2011 to 419,939 in 2015, which is a growth of 2.9% During this period, the Massachusetts population grew by 206,886, from 6,587,536 in 2011 to 6,794,422 in 2015, which is a growth of 3.1%. The table below shows the five year percent change in population and racial demographics from 2011 to 2015 for the cities and towns that are a part of the North Shore.

Additional population data can be found on the US Census Bureau’s web site.

Population & Demographics Percent Change 2011-2015 Total Population White Black or African American American Indian and Alaska Native Asian  Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander Some other race Two or more races Hispanic or Latino
Massachusetts 3.1% -0.7% 13.2% -17.8% 17.6% -14.9% 4.1% 13.1% 16.7%
North Shore 2.9% -0.6% 10.2% 36.8% 11.9% 29.9% -8.8% 47.8% 20.3%
Beverly 3.1% 4.0% -45.0% -51.6% 8.7% -68.4% 52.3% 2.3% 12.1%
Danvers 4.2% 0.9% 245.5% -12.5% 63.7% -100.0% 329.5% 43.4%
Essex 4.0% 2.6% 193.8% -42.9%
Gloucester 1.8% 1.5% 51.2% 0.0% 17.2% 810.5% -8.3% -17.6%
Hamilton 3.8% 6.4% 18.3% 0.6% -65.6% -100.0% -22.2% -36.2%
Ipswich 3.7% 2.4% 175.8% -7.1% -55.1% 95.2% 151.6%
Lynn 1.8% -15.9% 6.0% 65.7% 21.7% 79.6% 64.4% 19.7%
Lynnfield 6.3% 4.9% -100.0% 23.9% -100.0% -100.0% -8.3% -36.2%
Manchester-by-the-Sea 2.9% 1.7% 100.0% 43.1%
Marblehead 2.3% 0.1% 127.6% -100.0% -15.1% -100.0% 59.7% 102.7%
Middleton 6.8% 2.3% 646.2% -100.0% -9.4% -86.5% 4.7% 44.2%
Nahant 1.0% 1.3% -51.2% 35.3% -100.0% 30.3%
Peabody 2.4% -0.5% 10.4% -100.0% -28.1% -31.6% 88.1% 55.3%
Rockport 1.3% -0.7% -11.8% -100.0% -15.0% 61.0%
Salem 3.2% 0.9% 10.4% 129.9% -1.9% -38.8% 30.2% 10.9%
Saugus 4.2% 3.7% 20.6% 1750.0% 19.5% -64.9% 7.9% -5.2%
Swampscott 1.5% 0.6% -72.8% 10.3% -96.1% 309.3% 31.0%
Topsfield 5.0% 3.8% -100.0% -7.1% 477.8% 17.9%
Wenham 5.4% 4.7% -21.2% 7.6% -25.4% 166.7%
North Shore Labor Force & Unemployment

Labor force and unemployment data for the North Shore is shown below. As of March 2018, the unemployment rate on the North Shore was 3.6% which is lower than the Massachusetts rate. The labor force in the North Shore has increased in the past year by 1.4% while the number employed has also increased by 1.6% and the number of unemployed decreased by 3.5%. Year to year gains in the North Shore labor force with higher employment figures combined with a  decrease in the number of unemployed would signal an increase in the  labor force participation rate. The workers returning to the labor force are possibly the long term unemployed and/or new Americans who would benefit from soft skills and hard skills training.

Additional labor force data for the North Shore can be found on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) Economic Data web site.

North Shore Workforce Development Area (WDA)
Month Year Labor Force Employed Unemployed North Shore Rate
(not seasonally adjusted)
Massachusetts Rate
(seasonally adjusted)
March 2018 234,730 226,247 8,483 3.6 3.5
February 2018 233,164 224,307 8,857 3.8 3.5
January 2018 229,979 221,370 8,609 3.7 3.5
December 2017 229,065 222,385 6,680 2.9 3.5
November 2017 229,319 222,664 6,655 2.9 3.5
October 2017 228,668 221,986 6,682 2.9 3.5
September 2017 228,272 220,665 7,607 3.3 3.6
August 2017 230,392 222,532 7,860 3.4 3.6
July 2017 231,511 222,942 8,569 3.7 3.7
June 2017 231,789 222,991 8,798 3.8 3.8
May 2017 229,335 221,310 8,025 3.5 3.8
April 2017 230,442 222,688 7,754 3.4 3.9
March 2017 231,580 222,791 8,789 3.8 3.9
North Shore Recession and Recovery

The recession on the North Shore started in the 3rd quarter 2007 when employment reached a seasonal high of 167,235 and lasted until the 1st Quarter 2010 when employment droped to a low of 159,789. A total employment loss of 7,446 jobs or 4.5%. The 1st Quarter 2010 is the begining of the recovery period from which the North Shore starts to gain back employment lost during the recession. Latest employment figures show that the North Shore has nearly gained back the jobs lost during the recession. However, the industrial compostion of the North Shore and occuapation mix of the North Shore is changed due to the recession.

north shore recession and recovery chart

North Shore Industrial Employment Loss 3rd Quarter 2007-1st Quarter 2010

The North Shore had six industrial sectors which lost large percentages of thier workforce during the recession. These industrials are Durable Goods Manufacturing (-19.3%), Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (-9.6%), Professional and Technical Services (-6.9%), Administration and Waste Services (-11%), and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing Services (-12%). Several industries gained employment during this period such as Health Care and Social Assistance (6.3%), Educational Servies (4.4%), and Information (7%).

3rd Q 07- 1st Q 2010

North Shore Industrial Employment 3rd Q 2007% Change

north shore industrial recession loss

North Shore Industrial Employment Gain 1st Quarter 2010-1st Quarter 2012

The recovery period on the North Shore sees most of the industries start to gain back the employment losses experinced during the recession period. The industires with the highest levels of growth are Health Care and Social Assistance (4.7%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (6.9%), Accommodation and Food Services (4.9%), Administration and Waste Serivces (8.7%), and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (4.7%). Industires that lost employment during the recovery are Non-Durable Good Manufacturing (2.7%), Finance and Insurance (-3.3%), Public Adminstration (-5%), and Information (-1.4%). The recovery period is still ongoing.

1st Q 10- 1st Q 12

North Shore Industrial Employment 1st Q 2010 % Change

north shore industrial recovery

For more detailed information on industrial employment, establishment and wages, please refer to the tables listed below.

North Shore Industries (Private Employment)

The North Shore had a 2nd Quarter 2017 average monthly employment of 155,538 which is 4.98% of the Massachusetts employment of 3,121,876 during the same time period. The five largest industries on the North Shore (not including Other Services) are Health Care and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Accommodation and Food Services, Manufacturing, and Administrative and Waste Services. Together these industries employ 104,735 workers and account for 67.3% of all North Shore Employment.

Click here to view our: Labor Market Blueprint

Additional Industrial data for the North Shore can be found on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) Economic Data web site.

Industry Sector Number of Establishment Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wages
Total, All Industries 13,509 155,538 $1,009
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 105 261 $889
Construction 1,306 6,859 $1,246
Manufacturing 446 14,963 $1,687
Durable Goods Manufacturing 271 10,291 $1,877
Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing 175 4,672 $1,267
Utilities 13 532 $2,032
Wholesale Trade 627 4,434 $1,612
Retail Trade 1,699 26,191 $610
Transportation and Warehousing 240 2,605 $944
Information 225 3,952 $1,619
Finance and Insurance 544 5,287 $1,735
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 351 1,855 $1,201
Professional and Technical Services 1,485 8,249 $2,016
Management of Companies and Enterprises 60 1,354 $2,010
Administrative and Waste Services 713 8,332 $837
Educational Services 173 3,680 $912
Health Care and Social Assistance 2,897 36,261 $947
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 252 3,952 $514
Accommodation and Food Services 1,096 18,988 $427
Other Services, Except Public Administration 1,274 7,742 $542
Critical Industrial Sectors

The selection of critical industries was based on the following factors:

  • Number of jobs
  • Skill and education requirements
  • Wage levels of critical occupations
  • Career ladder opportunities
  • Projections of future employment opportunities

Based on these criteria, four industries stood out as critical drivers of labor market demand, providers of employment paying sustainable wages, and offering career ladder opportunities on the North Shore.

  • Construction
  • Financial Services
  • Health Care
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing

Among these four industries, there are high levels of current employment and a history of relatively high levels of employment in the region. There is a consistent demand for replacement jobs in each of these four industries.

Health Care and Social Assistance

03Health Care is the largest employer on the North Shore. Health Care and Social Assistance employment has grown 0.83% from 35,962 in the 2nd Quarter 2016 to 36,261 in the 2nd Quarter 2017. Job growth in the Health Care industry has primarily been driven by two factors: increased demand for technical skills and the aging of the population. Counteracting these factors has been a trend toward financial control, driven by consolidation and payer policies. In the North Shore, Health Care employment is concentrated in three sectors: Ambulatory Services (primarily offices of physicians and dentists), Hospitals, and Nursing and Residential Care Facilities.

Industry Sector Number of Establishment Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wages
Health Care and Social Assistance 2,897 36,261 $947
Ambulatory health care services 704 14,886 $1,174
Hospitals 11 6,596 $1,167
Nursing and residential care facilities 189 7,745 $693
Social assistance 1,993 7,034 $541
Financial Services

02Financial Services is a significant employer in the North Shore, employing 7,142 people in the 2nd Quarter 2017. This is a decrease of 3.23% from 2nd quarter 2016, when the industry employed 7,381 workers in the region. The Financial Services industry is divided between Finance and Insurance, employing 5,287 workers, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which employs 1,855workers.

Industry Sector Number of Establishment Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wages
Finance and Insurance 544 5,287 $1,735
Credit intermediation and related activities 215 2,799 $1,567
Securities, commodity contracts, investments 150 572 $3,063
Insurance carriers and related activities 176 1,912 $1,588
Funds, trusts, and other financial vehicles 3 3 $815
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 351 1,855 $1,201
Real estate 304 1,170 $1,046
Rental and leasing services 44 345 $850
Durable Goods Manufacturing

04Manufacturing is probably the most controversial selection as a critical industry. However, the region still employs over 14,000 workers, with over 10,000 in the Durable Goods Manufacturing portion of the industry; this meets the size criterion for critical industry employment.

 

Industry Sector Number of Establishment Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wages
Manufacturing 446 14,963 $1,687
Durable Goods Manufacturing 271 10,291 $1,877
Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing 175 4,672 $1,267
Food manufacturing 67 2,863 $1,271
Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing 13 195 $569
Textile mills 3 23 $2,025
Textile product mills 11 75 $1,013
Apparel manufacturing 3 4 $988
Leather and allied product manufacturing 5 91 $778
Wood product manufacturing 5 20 $1,076
Printing and related support activities 32 294 $1,020
Chemical manufacturing 22 865 $1,549
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 12 175 $1,244
Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing 6 44 $981
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 107 1,965 $1,257
Machinery manufacturing 33 2,199 $2,300
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 35 2,172 $1,995
Electrical equipment and appliance mfg. 9 233 $1,235
Furniture and related product manufacturing 19 87 $1,049
Miscellaneous manufacturing 39 795 $1,205
Construction

01Construction has long been a steady employer of North Shore residents. Between the 2nd Quarter 2016 and the 2nd Quarter 2017, construction employment in the North Shore Workforce Investment Area has increased by 2.58%, from 6,686 to 6,859 workers.

 

Industry Sector Number of Establishment Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wages
Construction 1,306 6,859 $1,246
Construction of buildings 340 1,532 $1,286
Heavy and civil engineering construction 43 463 $1,656
Specialty trade contractors 923 4,865 $1,195
Top 25 Occupations on the North Shore, May 2016

05The top 25 occupations on the North Shore are shown below along with the median, entry, and experienced level wages.

Additional occupational data for the North Shore can be found on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) Economic Data web site.

 

Rank Occupation Title Employment Median Entry Experienced
1 Retail Salespersons 8,660 $23,254 $21,014 $31,268
2 Waiters and Waitresses 4,850 $22,366 $20,801 $32,033
3 Cashiers 4,110 $22,770 $21,145 $25,571
4 Registered Nurses 3,970 $76,791 $60,745 $93,802
5 General and Operations Managers 3,670 $88,735 $52,313 $141,865
6 Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 3,510 $22,309 $20,800 $26,196
7 Home Health Aides 3,460 $27,642 $23,707 $29,263
8 Office Clerks, General 3,210 $33,934 $23,769 $40,813
9 Customer Service Representatives 2,940 $38,871 $27,604 $49,172
10 Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 2,780 $27,969 $22,377 $34,390
11 Nursing Assistants 2,500 $29,767 $25,818 $33,050
12 Personal Care Aides 2,500 $27,394 $23,537 $29,678
13 Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 2,480 $24,006 $21,320 $31,978
14 Teacher Assistants 2,430 $26,760 $22,081 $35,273
15 Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 2,140 $44,377 $31,061 $52,032
16 Cooks, Restaurant 2,100 $29,058 $24,033 $34,065
17 Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 1,950 $28,667 $22,341 $39,204
18 Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 1,910 $42,840 $29,324 $48,972
19 First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 1,820 $59,701 $41,899 $71,780
20 First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers 1,790 $37,698 $28,663 $51,777
21 Social and Human Service Assistants 1,670 $33,675 $27,611 $37,523
22 Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,670 $71,830 $50,307 $83,669
23 Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop 1,530 $22,005 $20,800 $23,668
24 Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,500 $70,921 $49,352 $85,394
25 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 1,490 $30,720 $25,010 $36,651

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