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 August 2017, the unemployment rate on the North Shore was 3.5% which is lower than the Massachusetts rate. The labor force in the North Shore has increased in the past year by 2.4% while the number employed has also increased by 2.2% and the number of unemployed increased by 11.0%. Year to year gains in the North Shore labor force with higher employment figures combined with a large percentage increase 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
Unemployment Rate
(not seasonally adjusted)
Massachusetts
Unemployment Rate
(seasonally adjusted)
August 2017 232,643 224,455 8,188 3.5% 3.7%
July 2017 234,284 224,740 9,544 4.1% 4.4%
June 2017 234,114 224,354 9,760 4.2% 4.4%
May 2017 231,443 222,277 9,166 4.0% 4.1%
April 2017 231,662 223,287 8,375 3.6% 3.8%
March 2017 231,617 223,194 8,423 3.6% 3.9%
February 2017 229,231 220,268 8,963 3.9% 4.2%
January 2017 226,740 218,205 8,535 3.8% 4.0%
December 2016 226,203 220,245 5,958 2.6% 2.8%
November 2016 226,489 220,445 6,044 2.7% 2.8%
October 2016 225,349 219,091 6,258 2.8% 2.8%
September 2016 224,419 217,103 7,316 3.3% 3.3%
August 2016 227,101 219,723 7,378 3.2% 3.4%

 

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 1st Quarter 2017 average monthly employment of 149,933 which is 4.96% of the Massachusetts employment of 3,020,095 during the same time period. The five largest industries on the North Shore (not including Other Services) are Health Care and Social Assistance, Accommodation and Food Services, Manufacturing, and Administrative and Waste Services. Together these industries employ 76,548 workers and account for 51.0% 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.

Industrial Sector Number of Establishments Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wage
Total, All Industries 13,394 149,993 $1,037
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 108 217 $994
Construction 1,280 6,309 $1,257
Manufacturing 448 14,856 $1,663
Durable Goods Manufacturing 274 10,301 $1,878
Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing 174 4,555 $1,178
Utilities 14 510 $1,874
Wholesale Trade 623 4,373 $1,538
Information 228 3,964 $1,772
Finance and Insurance 545 5,293 $2,288
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 352 1,842 $1,261
Professional and Technical Services 1,480 8,333 $1,718
Management of Companies and Enterprises 61 1,326 $4,372
Administrative and Waste Services 701 7,392 $856
Educational Services 170 3,684 $867
Health Care and Social Assistance 2,829 36,083 $910
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation 253 2,691 $591
Accommodation and Food Services 1,092 17,276 $415
Other Services, Except Public Administration 1,267 7,408 $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 2.56% from 35,182 in the 2nd Quarter 2015 to 36,083 in the 1st 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.

 

Industrial Sector Number of Establishments Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wage
Health Care and Social Assistance 2,829 36,083 $910
Ambulatory health care services 697 14,662 $1,130
Hospitals 11 6,747 $1,080
Nursing and residential care facilities 190 7,753 $706
Social assistance 1,931 6,921 $509
Financial Services

02Financial Services is a significant employer in the North Shore, employing 7,136 people
in the 1st Quarter 2017. This is a decrease of 1.73% from 1st quarter 2016, when the industry employed 7,261 workers in the region. The Financial Services industry is divided between Finance and Insurance, employing 5,293 workers, and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing, which employs 1,842 workers.

 

Industrial Sector Number of Establishments Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wage
Financial Activities 897 7,136 $2,022
Finance and Insurance 545 5,293 $2,288
Credit intermediation and related activities 216 2,809 $2,096
Securities, commodity contracts, investments 151 564 $4,184
Insurance carriers and related activities 175 1,919 $2,012
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 352 1,842 $1,261
Real estate 302 1,153 $1,180
Rental and leasing services 47 355 $883
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.

 

 

Industrial Sector Number of Establishments Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wage
Manufacturing 448 14,856 $1,663
Durable Goods Manufacturing 274 10,301 $1,878
 Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing 174 4,555 $1,178
Food manufacturing 66 2,792 $1,041
Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing 13 179 $584
Textile mills 3 23 $2,072
Textile product mills 12 76 $1,114
Apparel manufacturing 3 4 $1,036
Leather and allied product manufacturing 5 94 $713
Wood product manufacturing 5 19 $1,127
Printing and related support activities 30 279 $979
Chemical manufacturing 22 843 $1,747
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 13 187 $1,533
Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing 7 44 $923
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 110 1,962 $1,319
Machinery manufacturing 31 2,200 $2,700
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 35 2,163 $1,750
Electrical equipment and appliance mfg. 9 227 $1,143
Furniture and related product manufacturing 18 83 $1,028
Miscellaneous manufacturing 40 772 $1,102
Construction

01Construction has long been a steady employer of North Shore residents. Between the 1st Quarter 2016 and the 1st Quarter 2017, construction employment in the North Shore Workforce Investment Area has increased by 1.02%, from 6,245 to 6,309 workers.

 

 

Industrial Sector Number of Establishments Average Monthly Employment Average Weekly Wage
Construction 1,280 6,309 $1,257
Construction of buildings 333 1,458 $1,376
Heavy and civil engineering construction 43 396 $1,486
Specialty trade contractors 904 4,454 $1,198
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