The national unemployment rate has been a hot topic since the start of the Great Recession. At 6.9 percent, Massachusetts as a whole has a lower unemployment rate than the nation (8.3 percent). The rates have been dropping at an excrutiatingly slow pace, which is good news. But the national and state level rates don't tell the whole story.
Unemployment numbers for cities and towns are the last figures released for a given month. While we know Massachusetts' March unemployment rate, we only have February numbers for cities and towns.
The chart below has the February unemployment numbers for Boston and the surrounding communities. Boston has an average unemployment rate in the region at 6.6 percent, more or less in line with state numbers. As of January 2011, Boston's unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
The March figures for individual cities and towns comes out in two weeks. Patch will add the new figures to the chart and publish them once they're released. Here's how Boston compares to the rest of the region.