GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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November 26, 2012

Gloucester jobless rate tops 7 percent

Figure is back above state, county norms

Gloucester’s unemployent rate inched back up over the 7 percent mark in October, remaining below the rate for the same month of a year ago, but leaping farther above the overall state jobless rate and now rising above the Essex County rate for the first time in six months.

The city’s jobless rate for October was pegged at 7.1 percent, according to the latest figures from the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.

That’s a leap of 9 percent from the 6.5 percent jobless rate reported for the city in September, which also marked an increase from August. Yet the new figure remains below the 7.6 percent unemployment rate reported for the city in October 2011 — and reflects the city’s longstanding trend of showing rising jobless rates and fewer jobs when the tourism season slows business on several fronts after Labor Day.

The city’s uneployment rate, however, also pulled farther above the state’s jobless rate of 6.2 percent – with the .9 difference representing the largest gap between Gloucester’s rate and the state’s since last January and February, when the city’s mark reached 10.1 percent during Gloucester’s tradtionally slowest season.

And Gloucester’s 7.1 percent figure ranged above the overall Essex County unemployent rate, which dropped from 6.9 to 6.7 percent between September and October despite a lingering 13.9 percent rate in Lawrence.

The unemployent rates for Cape Ann’s towns, meanwhile, presented a mixed bag for October, according to the state’s workforce development figures:

Essex maintained Cape Ann’s lowest jobless rate at 4.3 percent, holding steady after posting the same mark in September, and 30 percent better than Essex’s October 2011 mark of 6.3.

Manchester also saw its rate drop from 5.9 percent in September to an October figure of 5.3 percent, though the latest number remains higher than the town’s rate of 4.5 percent for October 2011.

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