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Unemployment Drops Below 5% in Both Towns

The newly released local unemployment rates follow a promising trend in the region.

Government officials in Washington, D.C., may wish the rest of the country was in as good shape as Hamilton and Wenham.

Hamilton and Wenham's unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, in April, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. That is down from 4.3 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively, in March. A year ago, the unemployment rates were 5.4 percent in Hamilton and 6.3 percent in April 2011.

Statewide, the unemployment rate is at 6.3 percent, down from 6.5 percent in March and more than 7 percent in April of last year. Nationally, the unemployment rate is still above 8 percent.

The biggest gains in April were in the professional, scientific and business services sectors, which added 4,200 jobs statewide. Construction and manufacturing, however, lost jobs in April.

The data does not indicate how many people may have come off the unemployment rolls because they quit looking or took a job at less pay than they one they had lost.

The North Shore seems to be seeing a trend toward lower unemployment. Cities that have struggled in recent years continue to do so -- Gloucester still has 7.1 percent unemployment and Lynn is at 6.9 percent -- but they are also trending lower than last year.

Here are the rates in some nearby communities:

Community April 2011 March 2012 April 2012 Hamilton 5.4% 4.3% 4.2% Wenham 6.3% 5.5% 3.8% Beverly 6.3% 5.5% 5.1% Danvers 6.1% 5.9% 5.4% Essex 6.2% 6.8% 5.3% Ipswich 6.3% 5.3% 4.8% Topsfield 5.8% 4.1% 4.3%

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