Racial Equity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19


Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19

What does this measure?

The unemployment rate for racial and ethnic groups in a geographic area. Unemployed individuals are those without jobs who are able, available and seeking work; the rate presents them as a share of the total labor force (the total number of employed and unemployed individuals 16 or older and not living in prisons, mental hospitals, or nursing homes).

Why is this important?

Unemployment rates are a relatively timely indicator of current local economic conditions, particularly recent changes in the employment landscape that reflect the overall health of the economy.

How is our county doing?

In 2015-19, unemployment in Essex County was highest among Hispanic and African American workers at 7.9% and 5.9%, respectively. Among Asian and white workers, unemployment was 4.9% and 4.3%, respectively. There were similar disparities at the state and national levels, but the unemployment rate for African American workers in Essex County was lower than for Massachusetts as a whole (8.5%) and the nation (9.5%). The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers in Essex County was higher than the national rate (6.2%).

Since 2000, unemployment rates for all racial and ethnic groups decreased in Essex County, except white workers, who had an slight increase. The rate decreased most among African American workers (4 points) followed by Asian workers and Hispanic workers (2.3 points for each).

How do we compare to similar counties?

In 2015-19, Essex County had a lower unemployment rate among African Americans than Lake, IL (10.3%), but was fairly similar to Middlesex, MA (7%) and Westchester, NY (7.6%). All three comparison counties had somewhat lower unemployment among Hispanic workers.

Why do these disparities exist?

While traditional explanations for employment rate disparities focus on education and training gaps, whites tend to be employed at higher rates than Blacks and other people of color at every education level (high school, some college, bachelor's degree, etc.). This has led many researchers to focus on labor market discrimination as a primary cause of higher unemployment among people of color. However, it is also true that education levels are generally lower for people of color, suggesting that the education system's failure to equitably serve people of color is also a contributing factor.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Essex County, MA4.9%**5.9%**7.9%4.3%
Amesbury0.0%******0.0%******1.8%******3.4%**
Beverly3.8%******0.0%******5.9%******3.5%**
Gloucester0.0%******0.0%******5.2%******4.5%**
Haverhill8.4%******4.5%******8.8%**4.7%
Lawrence9.1%******6.1%******9.3%9.0%
Lynn3.8%******7.3%**6.7%**4.7%**
Methuen6.6%******2.7%******8.2%****6.2%**
Newburyport0.0%******0.0%******13.7%******3.7%****
Peabody0.0%******3.5%******8.6%******3.5%**
Salem0.0%******4.8%******5.4%****3.9%**
Andover6.5%******0.0%******2.8%******2.5%**
Boxford0.0%******N/A******0.0%******4.0%******
Danvers3.5%******0.3%******5.3%******3.7%**
EssexN/A******N/A******N/A******3.0%******
Georgetown0.0%******0.0%******0.0%******2.9%******
Groveland0.0%******N/A******0.0%******2.6%******
Hamilton0.0%******0.0%******0.0%******1.7%******
Ipswich0.0%******57.9%******0.0%******3.3%****
Lynnfield10.4%******25.7%******21.7%******4.6%****
Manchester0.0%******N/A******23.2%******3.4%******
Marblehead0.0%******0.0%******4.5%******5.0%**
Merrimac15.9%******N/A******0.0%******2.5%******
Middleton0.0%******N/A******4.0%******5.2%******
Nahant0.0%******N/A******0.0%******2.6%******
Newbury0.0%******0.0%******35.7%******2.5%******
North Andover0.0%******13.3%******3.9%******3.5%**
RockportN/A******N/A******0.0%******3.8%****
Rowley100.0%******0.0%******0.0%******2.9%******
Salisbury0.0%******26.9%******14.4%******3.1%******
Saugus14.3%******0.0%******3.1%******4.8%**
Swampscott0.0%******0.0%******0.5%******3.5%****
Topsfield0.0%******N/A******0.0%******5.0%******
Wenham0.0%******0.0%******0.0%******2.4%******
West Newbury0.0%******N/A******0.0%******6.5%******
Middlesex County, MA3.7%7.0%4.9%3.5%
Lake County, IL5.2%10.3%5.8%4.6%
Westchester County, NY5.1%7.6%5.8%4.7%
Massachusetts4.4%8.5%7.5%4.3%
United States4.2%9.5%6.2%4.5%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number Unemployed by Race/Ethnicity, 2015-19
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Essex County, MA739**1,109**6,68714,992
Amesbury0******0******3******339**
Beverly20******0******46******787**
Gloucester0******0******19******701**
Haverhill43******67******627**1,411
Lawrence88******152******3,1161,906
Lynn151******529**1,383**1,136**
Methuen77******38******688****1,315**
Newburyport0******0******36******361****
Peabody0******41******238******913**
Salem0******79******228****806**
Andover181******0******28******385**
Boxford0******0******0******177******
Danvers12******1******30******532**
Essex0******0******0******58******
Georgetown0******0******0******136******
Groveland0******0******0******99******
Hamilton0******0******0******65******
Ipswich0******81******0******242****
Lynnfield35******27******40******295****
Manchester0******0******19******95******
Marblehead0******0******21******531**
Merrimac11******0******0******94******
Middleton0******0******1******236******
Nahant0******0******0******54******
Newbury0******0******40******87******
North Andover0******80******48******493**
Rockport0******0******0******139****
Rowley13******0******0******105******
Salisbury0******14******29******154******
Saugus108******0******46******692**
Swampscott0******0******1******274****
Topsfield0******0******0******148******
Wenham0******0******0******60******
West Newbury0******0******0******166******
Middlesex County, MA4,0373,3893,35424,933
Lake County, IL1,5452,5214,51013,097
Westchester County, NY1,6475,8297,40115,202
Massachusetts11,09724,08830,105129,135
United States404,1101,905,4681,737,3855,402,966

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY
Prevalence of Overweight Adults Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Preterm Births Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate Maintaining
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Youth Arrests Decreasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employment Maintaining
Tourism Spending Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Charitable Contributions Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Days with Good Air Quality Increasing
Beach Contamination Increasing
Daily Water Use per Resident Decreasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Crimes Against Property Decreasing
Drug-Related Arrests Maintaining
Reports of Domestic Violence Increasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Recidivism Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
People 65 or Older Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Households by Type Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Gender Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Increasing
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Median Earnings by Occupation by Gender Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County for Work Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Self-Employment Revenue Increasing
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Female Enrollment in School Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Bullying Decreasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Households Receiving Federal Food Assistance Decreasing
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Decreasing
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Median Home Value Increasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeless Persons Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Medical Care Expenses Increasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma Maintaining
Prevalence of Overweight Children Maintaining
Diabetes Incidence Decreasing
Chronic Disease Among Older Adults Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Cancer Mortality Rate Decreasing
Heart Disease Mortality Rate Decreasing
Mortality Rate Decreasing
People who Smoke Not Applicable
Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Youth Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Not Applicable
Drug Overdose Mortality Rate Increasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Suicide Rate Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable