THE PIONEER BLOG

38.8 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 28.3 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past ten weeks.

Data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that 38.8 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 28.3 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began ten weeks ago.

Once anchored by higher education, Hampshire County, MA finds itself out of work after a cancelled semester

The 38,000 college and university students at the Five College Consortium in Western Massachusetts essentially increase the population of Hampshire County by 25% each fall. With this large student population comes the need for ancillary academic services, dining options, recreation opportunities, shopping options, and nightlife. Thousands of local residents are employed on or near these college campuses as custodians, college store and postal service clerks, retail workers, coaches, health care workers, and special event coordinators. So when COVID-19 moved the nexus of student activity from sprawling campuses to the internet, many of these jobs disappeared overnight.   As a result, Amherst, home to three of the consortium’s five colleges, contains two of the three zip codes with the highest modeled […]

In Hampden County, COVID-19 exacerbates a stark employment divide between urban and rural areas

Hampden County, Massachusetts, home of Western New England’s largest city, Springfield, has more COVID-19 deaths per capita than any other Massachusetts county as of May 20. This tragic fact is driven by the 74 lives lost at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, a nation-leading figure for a single long-term care facility.    But while death rates are often hard to calculate in real time, researchers at Applied Geographic Solutions, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California have started to estimate the virus’s impact on a key economic indicator: unemployment rates. And for Hampden County, the results are devastating. Multiple neighborhoods in and around downtown Springfield have estimated unemployment rates over 35%. Just 2 miles downstream on the Connecticut River, zip code 01106, in […]

As stay-at-home orders remain in place at the start of summer tourist season, COVID-19 takes a bite out of resort towns’ economies

Last month, Pioneer Institute showed that the hospitality and tourism sector is among the most negatively impacted industries from the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. Now, this trend is clear on even the smallest scale, with zip codes reliant on seasonal tourism, lodgings, and recreation to fuel their economies estimated to have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state. This is according to Pioneer Institute’s new COVID-19 Unemployment Tracker, which presents unemployment estimates modeled by Applied Geographic Solutions, Inc., based in Thousand Oaks, California.    Take zip code 01247, mostly in North Adams, for example. It is home to the largest contemporary art museum in the United States, with several other history, science, and art museums and historic mansions […]

It’s Time for the MBTA to Actively Engage Riders to Understand Their Commuting Plans

The MBTA should conduct a survey of mTicket app users regarding their future plans. Some may never work in offices again. Some will certainly do some workdays in the office and some at home. Others will be in offices and back to business as usual at some point.
Using their responses, the T can calculate ridership and determine projected revenue.

Today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate of a 15.1 percent unemployment rate in April only reflects half of Massachusetts’ COVID-19 unemployment surge

Today’s release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of a 15.1% April unemployment rate for Massachusetts essentially reports the damage that has been done during the first five weeks of Massachusetts’ ten-week long unemployment tsunami. Since this data was collected by the U.S. Census Bureau during the week of April 12-18, Massachusetts has received 381,687 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims and 210,485 regular unemployment claims (UI) filed between April 20 and May 16. These UI and PUA claims equate to 15.6 percent of the MA civilian workforce as of March 14, when the unemployment surge began. MA Civilian workforce March 14 3,740,602 UI Claims April 19 – May 16 210,485 PUA Claims April 19  – May 16 371,202 Total 581,687 Total […]

32.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past nine weeks.

Data released today by the U.S. Department of the shows that 33.0 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began nine weeks ago.

“Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction”: 8 K-12 Science Resources During COVID-19

The fourth in Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19 focuses on science education.

Kaya Henderson, Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools, on Leading Urban District Reform

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are happy to be joined by Kaya Henderson, the former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools. They discuss the historic reforms Henderson oversaw, including increasing enrollment and improved test scores in an urban district that had been one of the lowest performing in the country.

28.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 24.1 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past eight weeks.

Data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Workforce Development show that 28.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 24.1 percent  of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past eight weeks.

How will COVID-19 affect the 2020 Census in Massachusetts?

On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled a flood of press releases and ads. The agency also received increased media coverage and posted more frequently on social media than usual. It was Census Day, the official date for which your place of residence is recorded for the 2020 Census. While not everyone completes the census form by April 1, it asks every American to indicate where they lived on April 1 for the sake of consistency.    This year, Census Day occurred at an exceptional time in the United States, and the impacts of COVID-19 on the process have quickly drowned out reports regarding the census’s political implications, staffing, and funding. As would-be census takers are subject to […]

California’s Common Core Apologia

In a recent blog, Dr. Michael Kirst, past president of the California State Board of Education, attempts to defend his record of Common Core implementation during that period. But policy experts Ze’ev Wurman & Williamson Evers set the Golden State’s record during Common Core straight.

During COVID-19 Outbreak, Compounding Challenges for Special Education Students

In Massachusetts, there’s a staunch and persistent negative correlation between the share of students with disabilities in a school and the school’s overall performance on MCAS testing. Consider it a sign that ongoing reforms are needed in special education to prepare all of our children for their future.    Special education students deserve particular attention, however, because unlike some other demographics – notably economically disadvantaged kids – they have grown in number consistently in recent years. Between 2013 and 2019, Massachusetts primary and secondary schools added over 10,000 children with disabilities, a growth rate of over 1 percent per year. They now comprise over 19 percent of the state’s K-12 enrollment.   Programming for these children is especially important during […]

Stargazing: Five Astronomy Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Kids During COVID-19

Here are some resources for parents, teachers, and students of all ages. Our hope is to cultivate the curiosity within us, in order to better understand the heavens and stars above us.

The past seven weeks of Massachusetts unemployment claims total 25.8 percent of the civilian workforce.

The U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly report on jobless claims Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., reporting that Massachusetts received 55,448 initial unemployment insurance (UI) claims during the week ended May 2. This brings the total of regular UI claims filed in Massachusetts since March 14, the beginning of the unemployment surge, to 781,110.