, Gloucester, MA

July 29, 2013

Report shows 254 more Cape Anners out of jobs

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — The state’s latest workforce and unemployment statistics, geared primarily toward spotlighting the unemployment rates of cities and towns, show that 254 more Cape Ann residents were on the unemployment lines this June compared to the same time as a year ago — with three of the Cape’s four communities showing double-digit increases over the jobless numbers from June 2012.

The statistics are part of the same Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development figures released last week and reported with the unemployment rates for Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester. The rates of all four communities not only showed increases in the June unemployment rates compared to those for May of this year, but were also up compared to June of last year.

Overall, Gloucester’s unemployment rate for June was pegged at 7.7 percent, Rockport’s at 7.1 percent, Essex’s at 6.3 percent and Manchester’s at 5.9. The news came in month in which the state’s overall jobless rate also rose from 6.7 percent in May to a June figure of 7.4 percent, according to the Labor and Workforce figures.

The hard and individual numbers behind those figures, however, show 1,213 Gloucester workers listed as unemployed in June of this year compared to 1,048 in the corresponding month from a year ago, while those numbers have also risen for each of the towns as well.

The biggest jump shows in Rockport, where 274 workers were documented as unemployed this June, compared to 242 in May and to just 202 in June 2012. That’s a jump of 72 unemployed workers – or a leap of 35 percent – in year-to-year figures in a month when the summer season should have taken hold.

The increases in the other towns is less dramatic, with Essex’s number of unemployed rising from 111 in June 2012 to 124 at the end of last month — a jump of 11.7 percent — while the number of jobless workers in Manchester also rose from 148 in June of last year to 162 in June 2013, a bump of 9.7 percent.

Despite the rise in statewide unemployment, the Labor and Workforce Development report also shows Massachusetts adding jobs — an estimated 2,800 in June, following a revised gain of 6,700 jobs in May, when employers, especially in seasonal markets, are taking on new workers at the end of the collegiate academic year.

In that vein, the four Cape Ann communities showed more people working in June of this year compared to June 2012 as well. Gloucester, for example, showed 14,635 as employed in June compared to May’s 14,540, while Rockport reported 3,562 people on the job in June of this year compared to 3,541 in June 2012.

Essex reported a gain of employed workers from 1,837 last month compared to 1,838 in June of a year ago, while Manchester is listed with 2,590 workers on the job in June of 2013 compared to 2,575 the previous.

But all four communities have also shown increased in their documented labor force this past June when compared to June 2012. Gloucester’s rose from 15,598 to 15,848, Rockport’s from 3,743 to 3,836, Manchester’s from 2,723 to 2,752, and Essex’s from 1,949 to 1,973.

The state’s Labor and Workforce Development reports — issued each month for the state, for each of its counties, and for all of its cities and towns — are based upon federal Labor Department figures that are able to track only the number of people who are unemployed within the context of the documented work force.

Because of that, many state and national analysts have often raised concerns that a drop in workforce figures signals that, while far more people remain unemployed, many have fallen off the unemployment benefit rolls and are therefore no longer statistically tracked.

Gloucester’s workforce, as documented in the monthly report, dropped from both March to April and again from April to May, but has remained above corresponding figures for 2012 since the year began.