July 1st, 2014
By Ray Lamont
When Gloucester’s average monthly unemployment rate fell in April to 7.2 percent, it marked the city’s lowest jobless rate in 18 months.
Now, state figures show that Gloucester’s unemployment rate fell in May to its lowest level in six years.
The latest statistics posted by the state’s Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development show that Gloucester had a jobless rate of 5.4 percent in May, down by nearly two full percentage points from its April mark. It marks the lowest rate recorded for Gloucester in any month since the city hit the same 5.4 percent figure in May 2008, labor records show.
The May mark is also down by nearly two points from Gloucester’s 7.3 percent rate of May 2013, the fifth straight month Gloucester has posted year-over-year gains from the previous year. While the 5.4 percent mark remains above the state norm, it is closer to the state’s average of 5.2 percent than the local figure has been in more than a year, as well. It places the city below a number of other Essex County communities, including Lawrence, which continues to top the county at 11.1, and Lynn, whose mark has long been below Gloucester’s, but placed second in the county for May at 6.2 percent.
The improved jobless numbers for Gloucester are reflected in the surrounding towns on Cape Ann. Among those communities:
Rockport’s unemployment rate also fell by two percentage points, from 6.0 in April to 4.0 in May. The new Rockport figure is also far below the 6.6 percent mark posted last May.
Manchester’s jobless rate inched downward from 4.7 percent in April to a May mark of 4.6. That town had a May 2013 unemployment rate of 5.2.
Essex’s jobless for May fell to 4.3 percent, down from a 5.2 percent rate in April and from a 4.7 percent rate in May 2013.