Snyder's Sandwich: Unemployment In Sandwich Is 6.8 Percent


In January, Barnstable County reported the lowest unemployment rate among the three counties that make up Cape Cod and the Islands, at 10.0 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on April 11. 

Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that Barnstable’s jobless rate was above the national average of 7.0 percent. Dukes (Martha’s Vineyard) and Nantucket counties also had rates above that for the United States, at 11.8 and 12.6 percent, respectively.

Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties all had unemployment rates in January 2014 (the latest reporting date) that were close to the rates from one year earlier.

Nantucket County posted the only over-the-year decrease, down 0.4 percentage point. Dukes County had an over-the-year increase of 0.1 percentage point, while Barnstable’s unemployment rate was unchanged from January of 2013. The national unemployment rate fell 1.5 percentage point over this same time period.


From the longer term, all of the counties on Cape Cod and the Islands had lower jobless rates in January 2014 than were reported three years ago. Of note, the jobless rates for Nantucket and Barnstable counties decreased 2.5 and 2.0 percentage points, respectively, below their 2011 levels. The unemployment rate for Dukes was 0.8 percentage point lower than three years earlier. Nationally, the unemployment rate declined 2.8 percentage points over this same three-year period.

Barnstable County consists of the towns of Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth. Dukes County consists of the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury.

Nantucket County is the town of Nantucket.

Sandwich seems to be doing better than the rest of the Cape. Mark Maggi, an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (a part of the federal government’s Department of Labor’s statistical arm), tells Snyder’s Sandwich that Sandwich has done relatively well compared to the rest of the Cape. “Of course, the unemployment figures there are highly seasonal,” he said.

Comparisons of the same time of year are very interesting, and are a microcosm of the economy at large in the United States. But, fluctuations exist. For instance, in February of 1990, unemployment was 4.5 percent in Sandwich, with a labor force of 7,775.  But, just a short year later, in February of 1991, the unemployment rate had doubled to 10.0 percent with 7,674 participating in the labor market. In February of 1992, unemployment had climbed to 11 percent in Sandwich, with 7,682 residents working.

July and August see the unemployment rate dip each year, and the working force hitting five figures. Seasonal employment in the tourist industry increases the amount of jobs, temporarily each year.

The lowest unemployment rate ever seen in Sandwich was 1.8 percent in October of 1999. Back then, there were 10,233 residents were working. The highest unemployment rate? That would be the aforementioned February, 1992 rate of 11 percent.

Rates have stayed relatively high since 2009. In February 2009, the unemployment rate in Sandwich was 9.2 percent. In February 2010 it was 9.7 percent. By February 2011, it had dipped to 8.1 percent. In February 2012 it was 7.2 percent. In February 2013, it went down to 6.9 percent. And, finally in February 2014 (the latest figure available) it stands at 6.8 percent, with 11,128 residents in the work force.

I don’t want to labor over any of this, just wanted you to know where you stand in the employment picture. Happy job hunting.

Rumblings Around Town

Facts and Figures on Sandwich: In researching this week’s article, I came upon some very interesting statistics about Sandwich, from a number of sources. The town’s population is 96.6 percent white. The ancestries of Sandwich’s residents include: Irish, English, Italian, German, and French. Only 5.5 percent of the residents of our town were born outside the US.

The cost of living index (COLI) is 120. The average is America is 100, putting Sandwich in the “high” category in the COLI. Of the town’s population 96 percent have graduated from high school, 44.2 percent have a four-year college degree, 19.7 percent have a graduate or professional degree, 62.7 percent of residents are married, 19.2 percent have never been married, 11.2 percent are divorced, and 6.5 percent are widowed. The average real estate property (with a mortgage) paid $3,782 in real estate taxes in 2011. Those without mortgages paid an average of $4,312 in real estate taxes in 2011.

Only 1.6 percent of the residents of Sandwich live in poverty, as defined by the US Census Bureau. Of the residents, 66.9 percent are Catholic, 7.4 percent attend the Episcopal Church, 6.4 percent attend the United Church of Christ, 4.4 percent attend the United Methodist Church, 3.4 percent are Jewish, 11.5 percent are of “other” religions, or “none.”

The population in Sandwich has shrunk 3.14 percent in the past 10 years, while Massachusetts grew by 3.13 percent and the United States population grew by 9.71 percent. The Sandwich median household income was $64,861 in 2012 and grew by 15.44 percent since 2000. The income growth rate is much lower than the state average rate of 31.99 percent and is much lower than the national average rate of 26.32 percent. Sandwich median house value was $341,900 in 2012 and has grown by 92.84 percent since 2000. The house value growth rate is higher than the state average rate of 80.67 percent and is much higher than the national average rate of 51.67 percent.

Pantry Adds A Day: The Sandwich Food Pantry is open for new client applications on Mondays, from 10 AM until noon. It is open the third Saturday of the month, from 10 AM to noon, and Wednesdays from 10 AM to noon for clients. In addition, the last Wednesday of the month they are open from 6 to 7:30 PM. They are at 331 Cotuit Road. For more information, call 508-888-3816 or e-mail

Cool Canvas Bags: Check out the great limited edition canvas bags available from the Friends of the Council on Aging. It’s their only fundraiser of the year! So, help the seniors of our town, and get a great canvas carry-all that features photos of Sandwich! They are only $15 at the Council on Aging on Quaker Meetinghouse Road.

Mark Snyder, who has written more than 1,900 articles in newspapers and magazines, and published three books, is the CEO of, the Internet’s entertainment superstation. Have a story idea? He can be reached by e-mail at, on Facebook (Snyder’s Stoughton), and on Twitter (MediaMan2009). Write him via snail mail at Box 639, East Sandwich.   


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