Gains Reported in State’s Human Services Sector

A new research study released by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth has revealed that human services sector employment in the Bay State increased nearly 48 percent during the years spanning 2003-2011, a fact many in the industry will surely find to be a source of encouragement. In addition, the report indicated that the 145,000 members of that sector generated disposable income in an amount ultimately responsible for a $3.4 billion statewide economic impact in 2011 alone.

The study had been commissioned by The Providers’ Council, a leading association for community-based groups across the Commonwealth. Creation of the report was overseen by David Jordan, CEO of Seven Hills Foundation, together with fellow Providers’ Council committee members who had been charged with the task. Formally released at the Statehouse, the report also declared that the 145,000 jobs comprising the human services sector equated to 5 percent of the total jobs within the state, and that this sector had increased in size more rapidly than anticipated.

Other key findings in the report include the fact that, despite sector growth, state budgetary allocations for spending on human services shrunk from 11.8 percent in FY 2003 to just 9.8 in FY 2014, something fiscal watchdogs are likely to applaud. Also of note was the discovery that out of all industries represented within Massachusetts, human services included the highest rate of employees with a defined disability, at 6.5 percent.

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