economic equity and justice
Unemployment Rate

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

What does this measure?

Unemployed individuals are those without jobs who are able, available and actively seeking work. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the total labor force (the total number of employed and unemployed individuals 16 or older and not living in prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes).

Why is this important?

Unemployment rates are an indicator of local economic conditions, including changes in the employment landscape that reflect the overall health of the economy.

How is Norfolk County doing?

The unemployment rate in Norfolk was 5.1% in 2021, which represented about 20,000 people seeking employment. This represents a decline from the previous year when the rate peaked at 8.8% due to the COVID pandemic. The state and nation also had declines in unemployment since 2020 with rates of 5.7% and 5.3%, respectively, in 2021.

The unemployment rate in Norfolk County was lower than Essex (6.4%) and higher than Middlesex (4.6%). Both comparison counties had lower unemployment rates in 2021 since peaking in 2020.

Notes about the data

The unemployment rate represents only those who are actively seeking employment and does not account for under-employment or discouraged workers who have stopped looking for jobs. Also, county-level estimates are based on relatively small samples, and the true number of unemployed residents may vary considerably from the estimate. The rates reported here are averages of monthly rates.

standard
Unemployment Rate
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Cambridge, Middlesex County2.0%2.8%4.0%4.2%3.6%3.4%3.2%3.0%3.5%5.3%5.2%4.6%4.2%4.2%3.6%3.1%2.6%2.5%2.1%1.9%5.3%3.5%
Everett, Middlesex County3.1%4.0%5.8%7.0%5.6%5.3%5.3%5.0%5.7%8.4%7.5%7.1%6.4%6.3%5.4%4.3%3.6%3.3%2.9%2.6%11.5%6.0%
Newton, Middlesex County1.9%2.8%3.9%4.0%3.4%3.3%3.2%3.0%3.5%5.5%5.8%5.0%4.6%4.8%4.2%3.7%3.1%2.9%2.5%2.2%6.3%4.0%
Norfolk County2.4%3.2%4.6%5.1%4.5%4.1%4.1%3.9%4.7%7.3%7.2%6.3%5.7%5.7%5.0%4.2%3.5%3.4%3.1%2.7%8.8%5.1%
Essex County2.9%4.1%5.8%6.3%5.6%5.2%5.1%4.8%5.6%8.7%8.4%7.6%7.1%7.0%6.0%5.0%4.1%3.9%3.5%3.1%10.4%6.4%
Middlesex County2.3%3.4%4.9%5.2%4.4%4.0%3.9%3.7%4.3%6.9%6.7%5.9%5.4%5.4%4.7%3.9%3.3%3.1%2.8%2.4%7.7%4.6%
Massachusetts2.8%3.8%5.2%5.7%5.1%4.8%4.7%4.5%5.3%8.1%8.1%7.2%6.7%6.6%5.7%4.8%4.0%3.8%3.4%3.1%9.4%5.7%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics




Total Unemployed
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018201920202021
Cambridge, Middlesex County1,1701,6902,3792,4592,0711,9421,9041,8152,1493,2653,1502,7912,5882,5902,3001,9631,6741,6951,5611,3913,7262,506
Everett, Middlesex County6067701,1301,3471,0601,0009899451,0931,6251,7301,6571,5041,5021,3231,0989318727807113,1341,592
Newton, Middlesex County8751,3151,8421,8941,5941,5491,4811,3751,6382,5412,5572,2102,0732,1831,9321,6981,4681,3861,2391,0692,9231,868
Norfolk County8,53311,55816,55218,07215,91714,64814,51913,94016,80426,11025,88522,48320,65420,84218,34415,35613,04113,02512,05310,59834,40920,099
Essex County10,62315,60322,35824,00421,32519,57818,91517,94221,23432,96533,10429,97328,28627,84624,23620,34116,93716,39815,22913,55143,99927,018
Middlesex County18,55927,82340,91843,06035,76932,69531,69330,20835,87556,76455,50348,65445,52845,51139,88433,77028,68628,22825,81922,72169,56641,897
Massachusetts94,210128,540179,347195,695173,839162,583160,659155,327183,607280,925280,687251,677235,201233,545204,704172,113145,171142,131131,428117,400351,435215,392

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics






INDICATORS TREND
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Population by Age 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Voter Registration -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Total Jobs 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Living Wage 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty by Age -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Seniors Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value 0
Maintaining
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Renting 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Food Insecurity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Without Vehicles 1
Increasing
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 10 Not Applicable*
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*



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