GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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December 31, 2012

City jobless rate hits 7.8%

Gloucester’s latest unemployment rate leapt upward by some 9 percent in November, rising to 7.8 percent for the 30-day period even as the state’s jobless rate and a key North Shore regional indicator shows signs of improvement.

According to the latest city and town figures from the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the city’s jobless rate jumped from an October mark of 7.1 percent to the new figure. The 7.8 percent marks the city’s highest unemployment rate since March and sits less than a percentage point below the 8.2 percent rate the city racked up for November 2011.

While some of the city’s latest jobless increase is tied to seasonal changes in the local economy, the latest statistics show that the jump also comes as Gloucester’s labor force continues to grow. The 15,824 people recognized as being in the Gloucester workforce in November is up from the October mark of 15,727 and from the November 2011 figure of 15,670.

Yet that growth corresponds to a drop from statistics showing that 14,583 were employed in November, down from an Octobner figure of 14,618. The latest figures, however, are up by 201 from the 14,382 who held jobs in November 2011, according to the state numbers.

Gloucester’s jobless statistics come amid a mixed bag of November unemployment data for Cape Ann’s towns:

Rockport’s jobless rate jumped by more than 27 percent, from an October mark of 5.7 mark to a November figure of 7.2, according to the state workplace numbers. That figure is also higher than the town’s November 2011 rate of 6.8 percent.

Manchester’s November unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent in October to a November rate of 5.0, though that town’s jobless rate is also up from its Novembe 2011 figure of 4.6 percent.

Essex however, also saw its jobless rate rise from 5.3 percent in October to a November rate of 5.4 – a mark still below its November 2011 rate of 5.56 percent.

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