Unemployment Rates Remain at Historic Lows for Cape & Islands in October

HYANNIS – The tourist and shoulder seasons on Cape Cod have come to a close but it would be hard to tell from unemployment in the region.

The unemployment rate for Barnstable County was 3.1 percent in October – remaining the same as it was for August and September.

The rate for October was also down slightly from 3.2 percent last year.

“I’m almost at a loss to understand why we would be so low in October, but that’s what the numbers say,” said David Augustinho, the MassHire Cape & Islands Workforce Board Executive Director.

“It can’t keep going on. This is crazy.”

The numbers are based on a survey and not numbers reported by employers.

“The economy seems to be holding its own, certainly when you judge by employment numbers, and gosh, who knows when the ride will stop,” Augustinho said.

The low unemployment continues to cause issues for employers, specifically in the trade fields.

“It’s partly our fault as a society as we have been telling people for 50 years to get out of manufacturing and the trades and all that stuff and to go to college,” Augustinho said. “But it is a real hardship for the employers who cannot find personnel to fill their positions.”

Augustinho said MassHire is constantly trying to engage youth people who have just graduated from high school and are remaining in the region or who may have dropped out.

“We provide a wide range of services to these individuals, including training, but it is a very difficult population to engage,” he said. “But we do have some success with them when we can get them into our career center and start to provide services to them.”

Augustinho says he is interested to see what happens in November which is usually aided with holiday season jobs.

The rate on Nantucket was the same as last year at 2.3 percent, which was an increase from 1.9 percent in September. Unemployment fell from 3.3 to 3 percent on Martha’s Vineyard from last October. Vineyard unemployment was also up 0.4 percent from September.

The statewide rate for October was 2.9 percent.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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