Barnstable County Unemployment Up Slightly in December

BARNSTABLE – The unemployment rate for Cape Cod in December was up slightly from a year ago, but the numbers are still a good sign for the region.

The rate was 4.6% last month which was up from 4.2% at the same time a year ago. It was also up 0.3% from November.

Cape and Islands Workforce Development Board Executive Director David Augustinho says we are holding our own.

“I’ll be interested to see the January numbers but, gosh golly gee, these look pretty darn good,” Augustinho said.

Unemployment on the Vineyard was up from 5 to 5.9% from last December and the rate was up 1 percent on Nantucket to 5.8%.

Augustinho said it was good to see a slight increase in the labor force for Barnstable County as well. The labor force was up to 107,917 from 105,467 last year.

“I think that just speaks to the general strength of the economy that we’re all the way back from the recession and adding jobs here and there,” he said.

Augustinho said the last area of jobs to come back were in construction.

“I think that partly what we are seeing is that construction is continuing to more than hold their own,” he said.

The biggest concern moving ahead through 2018 and into the next tourist season on Cape Cod is the continuation of labor shortages.

“I think it’s going to be continued difficulty for the hospitality industry, landscapers and many other entry level kinds of activities because we just don’t have the bodies,” Augustinho said. “I don’t see anything right now that’s going to flip that.”

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