Cape and Islands see jobs rise, down elsewhere


Though unemployment ticked up in July, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate is down in the Cape and Islands as well as in Amherst, according to the Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The unemployment rate is up in 17 areas throughout the state but down in the Barnstable, Amherst, Nantucket, and Tisbury areas, while it is unchanged in the North Adams area.

The summer vacation season on Cape Cod has apparently driven that region’s economy, as the state noted, “The Barnstable area had the largest over the month rate of job growth due to seasonal gains.”

The Cape and Islands rates are dramatically lower than other areas of the state, such as Bristol County, which had a 9 percent unemployment rate in July, down from 9.9 percent in July 2011 but up from 8.5 percent in June.

Martha’s Vineyard had a rate of 3.8 percent, Nantucket a rate of 2.9 percent, and Barnstable County a rate of 5.4 percent.

While the seasonally unadjusted July unemployment rate went up from 6.3 percent to 6.6 percent from June, all of the state’s 14 counties had a decrease in that rate from July 2011 to July 2012 with the biggest drop in Plymouth County. The Brockton workforce investment area was the region with the biggest drop in year-to-year unemployment. From June to July, the area that had the biggest drop in employment was the Central Massachusetts workforce investment area, where the June to July employment numbers fell from about 275,000 to 269,000.

The Cape and Islands workforce investment area’s June-to-July employment numbers went up by a larger amount, rising from about 144,400 to 152,300. The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment went up from 6 percent in June to 6.1 percent in July.