Number of City’s Jobless Falls to Lowest Rate in Years

Mayor: ‘There are still people discouraged and not entering the workforce’

A dip in Haverhill’s jobless rolls by 209 people, with 76 new jobs created, brought the city unemployment rate in October below the three percent mark as the number of those working or seeking work shrank for a second consecutive month.

Local, seasonally unadjusted, unemployment numbers released this week by the labor department show Haverhill’s unemployment rate fell from 3.5 percent in September to 2.9 percent in October. While it stands a bit above the statewide average of 2.7 percent, the rate also shows 133 of the 209 in Haverhill who stopped receiving unemployment benefits in October left the workforce. That decline, however, was smaller than the seasonal labor pool drop by 748, reported last month, for September.

“We recognize that there is more to do, more jobs to entice here and that there are still people discouraged and not entering the workforce,” Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said in a statement Thursday. He noted the 2.9 percent jobless rate was the city’s lowest “in many years, probably in decades.”

The labor department said the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury reporting area, as well as the Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead area, had no change in job levels while 10 other areas, including the state’s urban centers, recorded seasonal job gains during October. In the past year, the Haverhill area was among four to show the largest percentage job gains from among 13 areas across the state reporting job growth.

Elsewhere in WHAV’s listening area, Andover recorded one of the largest local job gains, by 120, in October. The town’s unemployment rate fell by half a percent to 2.3 percent. Methuen, like Haverhill, saw jobless numbers drop by 174 people while 93 jobs were added, to bring its unemployment rate to 3.2 percent, a drop by seven percentage points.