Haverhill’s Jobless Rate Remains Slightly Higher Than State Average

While the latest unemployment numbers from the state show more jobs were added in Haverhill last month, adjusted figures for February show the city’s jobless rate was actually higher than previously reported.

Originally, “unadjusted” numbers for Haverhill showed a lower unemployment rate for February of 4.8 percent, but newly adjusted numbers show February’s actual rate was higher at 5.7 percent. However, there were improvements in March.

The latest jobless figures released Tuesday by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) show 126 jobs were added in Haverhill during March while a total 201 fewer people received unemployment insurance benefits and the local labor market shrank by 75 workers.  The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in March was 5.1 percent, down from an adjusted 5.7 percent in February. The unadjusted statewide average reported for March is at 4.6 percent, down one percentage point over February.

“The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates,” a statement said.  “The estimates for labor force, unemployment rates and jobs for Massachusetts are based on different statistical methodology specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

Compared to March, 2015, the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury area was among 14 reporting areas which added jobs with the largest percentage gains, according to EOLWD.

Elsewhere in WHAV’s listening area, unemployment rates for March increased by four percentage points in both Andover and Methuen. The jobless rates were 4.4 percent and 5.6 percent respectively. The greatest local spike in March unemployment, by six percentage points, was reported in Groveland.  The rate reported by EOLWD jumped from 3.4 percent in February to 4 percent in March.

Fourteen reporting areas added jobs between February and March, according to EOLWD.  The Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford area recorded the only loss over the month.

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