The national unemployment rate has been a hot topics 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%). 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. The chart below has the February unemployment numbers for Melrose and the surrounding communities. Medford's unemployment rate was 6 percent, down slightly from 6.2 percent the month before.
Among nearby communities, Medford's unemployment rate is most similar to Malden's, which was 6.1 percent. Chelsea's rate was well above Medford's -- 10.4 percent -- while Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge and Winchester all have unemployment rates under 5 percent.
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.