Numbers of Unemployed Haverhill Residents Rises to 5.1%

Numbers Subject to Seasonal Adjustments

Local unemployment rates for December were up in Haverhill, Lawrence, Newbury and West Newbury while others, including Groveland, Andover and Methuen, fell slightly or held steady compared to November.

Seasonally unadjusted numbers released Tuesday by the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) show 46 Haverhill workers joined the jobless rolls last month, bringing a total 1,705 people receiving unemployment benefits or actively seeking work. The city’s unemployment rate climbed by two percentage points, from 4.9 percent in November to 5.1 percent in December, or one-half percent above the reported statewide average 4.6 percent unemployment. A decrease by 92 in the number of employed Haverhill residents, down to 31,790 workers, was also a factor in the local unemployment rate increase. However, according to the state, the larger reporting area which includes Haverhill was the only one in the state to experience a rate drop in December.

“During December 2015, seasonally unadjusted unemployment rates dropped in one area – Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury. The rate went up in 19 areas of the state measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and remained the same in four areas,” an labor department spokesperson said. The Lawrence-Methuen-Salem area was among those which “had no change in jobs level over the month.”

Elsewhere in the WHAV listening area, Methuen’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent in December. The rate in Andover and Groveland dropped by two percentage points, to 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent respectively. The sharpest monthly hike in local December unemployment was reported in Newbury, where the rate climbed by four percentage points to 4.5 percent. Lawrence, with the area’s highest unemployment rate, had an increase by three percentage points to 9.3 percent. West Newbury’s rate ticked up by one percentage point to 3.6 percent.