Numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics show double-digit unemployment across the state in April, and Dukes County is one of the hardest hit.

A small group of protesters gathered at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven Wednesday to speak out against state and local pandemic restrictions that have temporarily put them and others out of work.

Gig workers, contractors and people with limited work histories can now apply for federal unemployment.


While the region, with its resort-based economy showed predictable seasonal fluctuations (unemployment higher than the state average in winter and lower in the summer), the report from the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development found that monthly unemployment rates were down for the first 11 months of 2012 when compared with 2011.


The Island has the second lowest seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in the state, according to recent data released by the state’s executive office of labor and workforce development. The office reports that the Tisbury labor market area, which includes all six Island towns, had a seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent in July, while the state average was 6.6 per cent. Statewide, Nantucket had the lowest unemployment rate for July, calculated to be 2.9 per cent.


Despite the claimed end of the recession, the number of foreclosure proceedings on the Vineyard appears to be increasing, along with unemployment.

Analysis of the space taken up by foreclosure-related advertising in the Gazette shows that it took up more than twice the column inches in the December quarter of 2009, compared with the same period in 2008.

And Chris Wells, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, said this week he believed unemployment on the Island could be as high as 50 per cent over the next couple of months.