LAWRENCE — Local unemployment numbers released yesterday show a glimmer of hope for people in Haverhill but remain gloomy for those in Lawrence.

The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development yesterday released jobless information for May for specific parts of the state. The numbers show that in about half of the 22 labor markets in Massachusetts, unemployment inched down. In seven of the markets, unemployment went up; while in three others, the rate remained unchanged.

In the Lawrence region, which includes Methuen, unemployment increased — from 12.8 percent in April to 12.9 percent in May. In May 2009, unemployment for the region stood at 12 percent. The May 2010 figure translates into 9,337 people who are jobless, out of a potential work force of 72,348 people.

More specifically, Lawrence again appears to be leading the state in unemployment, sitting at 17.5 percent, up from 16.7 percent last month and 16.2 percent last May.

Methuen saw a reduction in unemployment, going from 11.4 percent in April to 11 percent in May. But the numbers are way up since last May, when unemployment hovered around 9.8 percent.

The Haverhill-North Andover market is doing slightly better as a region, having seen its unemployment drop from 8.4 percent in April to 8.2 percent last month, meaning there are around 10,098 people looking for work.

Again, more specifically Haverhill is seeing a slight reduction, going from 10.1 percent in April to 9.9 percent last month. That leaves about 3,149 people looking for work out of a potential work force of 31,774.

In North Andover, unemployment inched up, from 8 percent to 8.4 percent.

Andover saw its jobless rate virtually unchanged, hovering around 6.9 percent, up slightly from 6.8 percent in April and 6.7 percent from May 2009.

Statewide, the May seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. Over the year, the unadjusted unemployment rate is up 1.0 percent from the 8.1 percent rate in May 2009.

Unemployment rates across the Valley

City/townMay 2010April 2010May 2009

Andover6.96.86.7

Haverhill9.910.19

Lawrence17.516.716.2

Methuen1111.49.8

N. Andover8.487.7

Source: Massachusetts Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Unemployment Assistance

• • •

Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

Recommended for you