Portuguese American Journal

Job market improving but not for everyone – Fall River, MA

The US job market showed a significant improvement by adding 216,000 jobs to the workforce in March over the 194,000 in February nationwide – the best showing since March 2009.  Since November 2010, the jobless rate has declined by 1.0 percentage.

The current unemployment rate is down to 8.9 percent but the Portuguese speaking communities nationwide continue to be hard hit by the current unemployment crisis, namely Fall River, MA, where unemployment jumped to 17.3 percent just last month – one of the highest among 22 Massachusetts cities – and the numbers could get worse. Among Massachusetts cities, only Lawrence has a higher unemployment rate at 18.0 percent.

 Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.6 percent), adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (24.5 percent), whites (7.9 percent), blacks (15.5 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in March, at 8.4 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

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