Local Unemployment Rates Plummet

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Originally Posted by The Sun Chronicle 

Local unemployment rates continue to fall with Norfolk now down to 1.9 percent and Plainville and Wrentham close behind at 2.1 percent each.

Even Attleboro, which traditionally has the highest unemployment rate in the area, has seen its rate drop to 2.5 percent.

Most local rates are nearly 2 points below what they were a year ago. And, they are a fraction of what they were seven years ago during the Great Recession.

The numbers are obviously good news for workers, who are finding it easier to find jobs.

The state says there are 16,389 vacant jobs just in Southeastern Massachusetts, which is the region that includes Attleboro and communities between South Shore towns such as Marshfield and the South Coast area around Fall River.

Some of the biggest needs for workers are in the areas of food preparation, sales and transportation.

But, the situation has also made life a little more difficult for employers in some industries finding it a challenge to fill openings.

Jon Hurst, president of the Retail Association of Massachusetts, said some stores have been struggling to find extra help for the holiday shopping season.

He said the situation was not a crisis, but some stores had to go without preferred staffing levels.

"They never got to where they wanted to be," he said. "It's what you have in good times."

One reason the situation hasn't become a crisis, he said, is more people are shopping online, making extra workers in the stores less necessary.

Another factor is that more retired people are willing to pick up a part-time job to make a little extra money, he said.

Figures released Tuesday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development showed that local communities made more gains in reducing the number of people who are unemployed.

Attleboro has gone from 1,053 jobless residents last year at this time to 611 now. Foxboro went from 385 to 217, Mansfield from 504 to 303 and North Attleboro from 686 to 384.

 

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www.thesunchronicle.com Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 1:46 pm | BY JIM HAND / SUN CHRONICLE STAFF 

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