While the state unemployment rate is lower than the national average at 4.7 percent in July, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Persons with Disabilities, Native Americans, and recently-returned Veterans, continue to experience high unemployment rates, ranging from 7 to 12 percent.
On March 12, 2015 Governor Charlie Baker signed Executive Order 561, creating a task force to look at the reasons for the higher unemployment rates among these groups, and find ways to improve economic opportunities.
Labor and Workforce Development Secretary, Ronald L. Walker, II is leading the task force, and will advise the Governor. The task force has meet monthly with business leaders, employers, educators, and community-based organizations to devise recommendations. Public information sessions are currently being held around the state to gather input.