March 27, 2019

Greater Worcester unemployment down to 3.6%

LakePharma opened this Hopkinton facility earlier this year.

According to Massachusetts labor and workforce officials, Greater Worcester added 1,600 jobs in February, and the area's unemployment rate fell from 3.9 percent in January to 3.6 percent.

The state Executive Office of Labor & Workforce Development said the Worcester-Connecticut Metropolitan Statistical Area had 12,986 unemployed last month compared to 14,416 in January. That's also an improvement over February 2018, when 15,456 were unemployed, leading to a jobless rate of 4.3 percent.

Last month's 3.6 unemployment rate was one of the best for metropolitan statistical areas, second only to the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua area's figure of 2.8 percent.

Other Central Massachusetts areas improved, including the Leominster-Gardner Metropolitan Statiscal Area, which saw its unemployment rate drop from 4.2 percent to 3.8 percent last month. That's also an improvement from the February 2018 rate of 4.7 percent.

The Athol area, defined as micropolitan statistical area, saw its unemployment rate drop from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent over the month.

Greater Worcester's employment gain of 1,600, good for a 0.6-percent bump, was a distant third behind the Springfield area's gain of 7,500 and the Boston area's gain of 11,000.

Since last February, the Worcester has actually lost 1,300 jobs, a 0.5-percent decline.

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