Unemployment fell from October to November in most regions of Massachusetts, except for Cape Cod and the islands, according to a detailed breakdown of jobless rates from Gov. Deval Patrick’s labor office.

Unemployment fell from October to November in most regions of Massachusetts, except for Cape Cod and the islands, according to a detailed breakdown of jobless rates from Gov. Deval Patrick’s labor office.


That’s good news at a time of year when jobs usually drop in construction, tourism and other weather-dependent fields, said Christian Weller, an economist and public policy professor at UMass-Boston and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.


“We generally think of October, November as kind of dull months due to depressing seasonal factors,” he said.


A warm start to winter might have tempered the usual drop in employment, Weller said.


Promisingly, all regions of the state had lower unemployment in November than the same month a year earlier, the labor office said.


At the local level, estimated unemployment rates were lower in all but eight Bay State cities and towns last month than in November 2010.


“Massachusetts is doing relatively well,” Weller said. “It still has a relatively high unemployment, but is in a good position to face the economic headwinds that everybody thinks are coming.”


Analysts remain worried about how federal gridlock, the European debt crisis and other factors beyond Massachusetts’ control will affect the state’s economy in the coming year.


Even as unemployment rates decline, the figures showed little sign of narrowing the gap in joblessness between the state’s poorer cities and towns and wealthier suburbs.


Cities such as Fall River, with an unemployment rate of 11.8 percent, and Brockton, at 8.8 percent, remain a long way from towns such as Dover, Weston and Brookline, all of which had joblessness rates below 3.5 percent in November.


“You do see a lot less double-digit numbers, but there are still issues with some of the Gateway cities,” said Rena Kottcamp, director of research for the Massachusetts Division of Unemployment Assistance.


The state has identified 24 "Gateway” cities that have populations between 35,000 and 250,000, and median household incomes and education levels below the state average. These cities also tend to see higher unemployment than other regions.


The new regional and local jobless estimates are not seasonally adjusted. That means they include seasonal ebbs and flows in employment and labor markets that are typically factored out of the traditional statewide and national unemployment rates.


This may explain double-digit unemployment rates reported for November in several Cape Cod towns, where seasonal jobs fueled by tourism dry up in the fall. Provincetown led the state with an estimated 28 percent unemployment rate.


“Their unemployment rates are quite low in the summer because there is a huge influx of people into the area and jobs,” Kottcamp said.


Massachusetts’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7 percent in November, down from 7.3 percent in October – the lowest level in three years. Compared to November 2010, last month’s state rate dropped 1.3 percentage points.


The national unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in November. The unemployment rate includes people who are without work and actively seeking jobs.


The state labor office breaks Massachusetts into 22 regions to track employment. All saw jobless rates decline in November from the same month a year ago.


Only three regions saw joblessness increase since October – the area surrounding Barnstable, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. 


Labor officials also reported gains in jobs last month in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Framingham, Worcester, Springfield, Leominster-Fitchburg-Gardner and New Bedford areas.


Five other regions saw slight job losses: Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, Barnstable, Peabody and Pittsfield, the state said.


All regions of the state had more jobs than in November 2010, the labor office said. Among the biggest gains were the Framingham and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy areas. The Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton area saw among the largest percentage gains in jobs.


“The experience across the state looks pretty good,” Weller said.


(David Riley can be reached at 508-626-4424 or driley@wickedlocal.com.)