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September 11, 2023

Index: Central Mass. employers remain cautiously optimistic in August following July bump

Photo | Timothy Doyle Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce headquarters

The Central Massachusetts Business Confidence Index continued to show optimism among employers in August, though it fell behind optimism statewide.

The Central Massachusetts index, produced by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the statewide trade group Associated Industries of Massachusetts, showed volatility in local employers' mood of the summer. It jumped from pessimistic territory with a score 46.3 in June to more optimistic territory with a score of 52.2 in July, then dropped in August to 50.9.

The index is calculated on a 100-point scale, with a rating over 50 signaling optimism.

The statewide index, conducted by AIM, showed less variation throughout the summer. It remained nearly flat at 52.4 in August, down one-tenth of a point from July, according to a Monday press release from the organization. 

“U.S. employers added 3.1 million jobs over the past 12 months, including 187,000 in August. The unemployment rate rose to 3.8% from 3.5% in July as more Americans joined the workforce,” AIM Board of Economic Advisors Chair Sara Johnson said in the press release. “That growing workforce and slower price increases have boosted Americans’ inflation-adjusted incomes this year, fueling more hiring and spending.”

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