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News Release Information

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (646) 264-3623

Unemployment on Cape Cod And The Islands — July 2015

Summertime Unemployment Rates in All Three Area Counties Lower than that of the Nation

In July, Nantucket County, Mass., reported the lowest unemployment rate among the three counties that make up Cape Cod and the Islands, at 2.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that Nantucket’s jobless rate was below the national average of 5.6 percent. In addition to Nantucket County, both Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) and Barnstable (Cape Cod) Counties, Mass., had rates below that for the United States, at 4.0 and 4.7 percent, respectively. (See chart 1. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains county definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)


The unemployment rates in Barnstable and Dukes Counties were each 0.8 percentage point lower in July 2015 than a year earlier. The jobless rate in Nantucket County was down 0.7 percentage point over the year. (See table A.) The national unemployment rate fell 0.9 percentage point over the same time period.


Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, and counties comprising Cape Cod and the Islands, not seasonally adjusted
Area Unemployment rates Net change from
July 2012 July 2013 July 2014 July 2015(1) July 2012 to July 2013 July 2013 to July 2014 July 2014 to July 2015(1)

United States

8.6 7.7 6.5 5.6 -0.9 -1.2 -0.9

Barnstable County, Mass.

6.4 6.4 5.5 4.7 0.0 -0.9 -0.8

Dukes County, Mass.

5.4 5.7 4.8 4.0 0.3 -0.9 -0.8

Nantucket County, Mass.

4.1 3.8 3.2 2.5 -0.3 -0.6 -0.7

(1) Data for the counties on Cape Cod and the Islands are preliminary for the most recent month.

The jobless rate for Cape Cod in July 2015 was 1.7 percentage points lower than its 2012 level. Jobless rates in Nantucket and Dukes Counties decreased 1.6 and 1.4 percentage points, respectively, from three years ago. (See chart 1.) Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased 3.0 percentage points over this three-year period.

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions.  The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis.  The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over.  Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation.  Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed.  The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons.  The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Method of estimation.  Estimates for the substate areas in this release are prepared through indirect estimation procedures using a building-block approach.  Employment estimates, which are based largely on "place of work" estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program, are adjusted to refer to place of residence as used in the CPS.  Unemployment estimates are aggregates of persons previously employed in industries covered by state unemployment insurance (UI) laws and entrants to the labor force data from the CPS.  The substate estimates of employment and unemployment, which geographically exhaust the entire state, are adjusted proportionally to ensure that they add to the independently estimated state or balance-of-state totals.  A detailed description of the estimation procedures is available from BLS upon request.

Annual revisions.  Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates.  The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation.

Area definitions:  The Cape Cod and the Islands area includes:

Barnstable County consists of the towns of Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth.

Dukes County consists of the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury.

Nantucket County consists of the town of Nantucket.

This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200, Federal Relay Services: (800)-877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015