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Chart: Latest Unemployment Numbers

This week's chart focuses on the latest unemployment numbers in the region.

December seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates are down in the Boston-area while the rates for the remaining twenty one areas were reflecting seasonal changes, according to the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development. 

Locally, Lawrence's rate is the highest at 14.5 with 4,544 people out of work in December. The lowest rate is in Lexington where 608 people are unemployed - a rate of 4.0.

Statewide, the December seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent, up from 6.4 percent in November. Over-the-year the statewide rate was down 1.5 percentage points from the 8.0 percent rate recorded for December 2010. All twenty-two labor area rates were down over the year.

Community Labor Force Employed Unemployed Rate Andover  16,855 16,093 762
 4.5 Billerica  22,429  21,077 1,352  6.0 Chelmsford  19,275 18,193 1,082  5.6 Dracut 16,695 15,646 1,049  6.3 Haverhill  31,824  29,419 2,405  7.6 Lawrence  31,232  26,688    
4,544    
14.5 Lexington  15,303 14,695  608    
 4.0 Littleton  4,878  4,643
 235  4.8 Lowell  51,636  47,104
4,532  8.8 Methuen 24,211  22,285 1,926  8.0 North Andover 13,574  12,856 718
 5.3 North Reading  8,104  7,701  403    
 5.0 Reading  12,857 12,218
 639
5.0 Tewksbury  17,372 16,457  915
 5.3 Westford 12,359  11,805
554
4.5 Wilmington  12,504
 11,859      
 645    
 5.2
Virginia Daniel February 01, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I'm not sure where this information is tallied from however, if it comes from the state unemployment enrollment, it is not accurate. There are people who arent working, and arent eligible to collect unemployement! Wish these numbers were lower!
glass half full February 01, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Isn't 'Full' employment of a work force when UnEmplyment is 4%? If so we, as a region, are doing quite well. I hear a lot of complaining, but I think sometimes folks are afraid to see the good that has finally reached us. There will always be cases where individuals cannot find a job, but overall this clearly show a rebound for our area (except Lawrence/ Lowell).
Katie Curley-Katzman February 01, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Virginia, These are the Dec. numbers released by the MA Office of Labor and Workforce Development. They are released each month.
Anna Bucciarelli February 02, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Those who are unemployed do not see a "rebound" or "the good" that you say has finally reached us. I find in my circles that those who are struggling really do the best they can and do not complain, just keep plugging away and hoping for better times. These are not better times by a long shot!
Maria Karafelis February 02, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Katie, Thank you for clarifying the numbers. Although I do agree with Anna, there are so many people that are off the radar screen because their benefits have expired and they still don't have a job. I really wish that when the state reports these numbers that they could give us why the numbers have decreased. Is it because they found a job or their benefits have expired. Unfortunately in the real world I don't think you will see that, because technically this is based on who is receiving benefits.

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