Greater Providence posts highest Feb. jobless rate for large metros
ALTHOUGH THE JOBLESS rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area declined in February to 9.7 percent, it still ranked as the highest unemployment rate among the 49 metro areas with a population of 1 million or more.
WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area fell to 9.7 percent in February, non-seasonally adjusted, from 10.3 percent a month earlier, as the size of the labor force grew 0.6 percent to 691,000 from 686,600, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Wednesday.
On a year-over-year basis, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined in February from 10.5 percent during the same period a year earlier, while the labor force shrank 0.4 percent from 694,100 over the same 12 months.
Nationally, 338 of the 372 metro areas across the United States showed unemployment rates in February that were lower than in February 2013, with the lowest coming in at 2.8 percent in Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La. Twenty-five metro areas had jobless rates higher than a year ago (Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., had the highest at 22.9 percent), while nine regions saw no change in their unemployment rates.
Of the 49 metro areas with a 2000 U.S. Census population of 1 million or more, Providence-Fall River-Warwick had the highest unemployment rate in February, while New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La., had the lowest at 4.2 percent.
Regionally, the New Bedford metropolitan area saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines in its jobless rate. The February unemployment rate dropped to 11.2 percent, compared with 11.7 percent in January and 12.4 percent in February 2013. Its labor force grew by 600 between January and February, and by 400 from a year earlier.
In Worcester, the February unemployment rate of 7.3 percent represented a decline from 7.6 percent a month earlier and from 7.9 percent in February 2013. The Norwich-New London, Conn., metro area saw its non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate drop to 7.8 percent in February, compared with 8 percent a month before and 8.6 percent the previous year.
The national non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for February was 7 percent, not seasonally adjusted.