The unemployment rate in the City of Fall River, MA, jumped to 17.3 percent 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.
The last time Fall River’s rate was more than 17 percent was in March 2010, when it was 17.6 percent. The lowest rate in 2010 was in October at 12.7 percent.
According to data released by the state on Tuesday, the number of people unemployed and looking for work in Fall River — more than 8,000 — was 25 percent higher in February than it was only two months prior.
Fall River is home to one the largest Portuguese–speaking communities in the US and the highest concentration of Portuguese Americans in the country. In 2000, 43.9 percent of Fall River residents identified themseves as being of Portuguese heritage, many claiming to be of Azorean origin, many from São Miguel island.