More Jobs Brings Down Area Unemployment Rates

Job gains and fewer people on the unemployment rolls contribute to a downswing in the February unemployment rate in Haverhill and most other communities in WHAV’s listening area.

The latest, seasonally unadjusted numbers released Tuesday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) show Haverhill’s unemployment rate dropped by three percentage points, between January and February, to 4.8 percent, one point higher than the statewide rate. In Haverhill, 105 jobs were added as 87 fewer people received unemployment compensation and another 18 were added to the local labor force. Groveland’s rate dropped by four percentage points to 3.1 percent in February, the lowest among area communities. Methuen’s unemployment rate fell by two percentage points to 4.9 percent. In Andover and Merrimac, unemployment rates were unchanged at 3.4 and 3.8 percent respectively. According to EOLWD, among 14 reporting areas in the state which added jobs, the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury area was among three with the largest percentage gains Since February, 2015.

“The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 13,300 job gain in February and an over-the-year gain of 67,100 jobs,” a spokesperson said.

Lawrence and Lowell were the only area urban communities reporting greater unemployment rate drops, by seven and five percentage points respectively. However, in Lawrence, unemployment remains the highest in the region, at 8.7 percent in February. A rate of 5.8 percent was reported for Lowell.