Gloucester's unemployment rate edged another notch above 10-percent in February, according to new data from the state's Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
But the city's 10.2 percent February rate — while 36 percent above the revised statewide mark of 7.5 percent — remains below the rate for the month of February in 2011, when the city's jobless figure reached 11.2 percent.
Gloucester's unemployment rates for January and February have traditionally been highest for many years, given the seasonal nature of a number local businesses.
The city's new jobless figures, however, are also significantly above those for Gloucester's neighboring Cape Ann communities, where new February figures show the local workforces holding their ground.
In Rockport, which had posted a 10.2 percent unemployment rate in February of last year, the jobless rate was 8 percent, according to the state. That's down from 8.4 percent in January.
The unemployment figures for both Manchester and Essex also show the number of potential workers who are out of jobs in those communities at rates below their prior year's figures.
In Essex, the state reports an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, up a tenth-of-a-percentage point from 7.8 in January, but down by a full point from an 8.9 percent in February 2011.
In Manchester, the latest reports shows that just 6.6 percent of that town's labor force was out of work in February, below the state average, down from a 6.7 percent in January of this year, and down from the 7.5 percent posted in February 2011.
The new Gloucester figure of 10.2 percent is gleaned from a state report showing that 1,611 workers were unemployed in February from a workforce of 15,841.
Those figures, however, show an improvement from February 2011, when 1,757 people were out of work from a slightly larger workforce of 15,877.
Statewide, the 7.5 percent rate is down from 7.7 percent mark in January and from an 8.2 percent figure reported for February 2011.
The Labor and Workforce Development office reported that the state's private sector added 9,000 jobs in February, with seven of the 10 private sectors producing gains. The largest of those jumps, according to the state data, came in the field of leisure and hospitality, followed by transportation and utilities and education and health services.