MassHire Closed

The doors to the Attleboro unemployment office, or MassHire, on Pine Street.

In the see-saw tale of unemployment rates in the area over the past few months, June saw another uptick in percentages, according to the state’s latest figures.

Jobless rates crept up, marginally in most instances, in all 10 communities covered by The Sun Chronicle after remaining nearly static over the last few reporting periods.

But the numbers might not be as disheartening as they seem. In most communities, the raw numbers show more people employed last month than the month before but also an increase in the labor force. That’s the number of people both employed and actively seeking jobs, possibly reflecting an influx of young grads into the labor pool.

And even with the increased percentages in June — with Norton’s the highest at 5.6 percent, up a full percentage point from figures in May — the numbers look far healthier than those of June of last year. That’s when jobless percentages appeared stuck in the mid-teens at the height of the pandemic-ordered shutdown of “non-essential” business and industry.

In Attleboro, the unemployment rate crept up to 5.3% for June from 4.6% in May. In June of last year, Attleboro’s jobless rate was the highest in the area at 15.9%.

Still, in actual numbers of people working, according to the state, there were just over 24,000 from Attleboro in June, more than the 23,800 in May. In between those two months, however, the labor force grew by 370.

Statistics were similar in other communities.

Foxboro’s jobless rate crept up half a point to 4.5% in June. That compares to 13.7% a year ago. But it also reflects that just over 10,000 local residents are employed this month, up more than 80 from June.

In North Attleboro, where last year’s percentages hovered in the mid-teens, the jobless rate was 4.5%, up from May’s 4.2%. But the actual number of people working rose by nearly 100 with nearly 15,000 people employed, according to the state.

Statewide, the outlook is certainly brighter. Massachusetts employers added 9,400 jobs in June as the statewide unemployment rate dropped under 5 percent.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the state’s figure to an even 5% after updating its model “to better capture the effect of the pandemic,” state labor officials said.

The national unemployment rate for June was 5.9%.

Tom Reilly can be reached at 508-236-0332 or treilly@thesunchronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tomreillynews

June unemployment rates

Community June 2021 May 2021 May 2020
Attleboro 5.3 4.6 15.9
Foxboro 4.5 4.0 13.7
Mansfield 4.4 3.9 12.9
Norfolk 4.1 3.7 11.4
North Attleboro 4.5 4.2 15/2
Norton 5.6 4.6 14.2
Plainville 4.0 3.9 14.3
Rehoboth 4.3 4.0 12.2
Seekonk 4.5 4.2 13.1
Wrentham 4.4 4.0 12.2

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