Updated March 29 at 12:28am

Jobless rate drops in the Providence metro area in Feb.


WASHINGTON – Unemployment rates fell year over year in February in 187 of the United States’ 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro, according to the latest non-seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported Wednesday.

The region’s jobless rate fell to 10 percent from 11.5 percent in February 2012, according to preliminary figures from the BLS, as 69,700 people who were looking for work could not find a job.

For the same February to February period, Rhode Island’s jobless rate fell to 9.8 percent from 11.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (The seasonally adjusted rate for the state, released previously by the state Department of Labor and Training, was 9.4 percent.)

The New Bedford metro area’s unemployment rate was unchanged year over year in February, at a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 11.5 percent.

The Bay State saw its non-seasonally adjusted rate fall 0.5 percentage points in February to 6.8 from 7.3 percent in February 2012.

The non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for the nation in February was 8.1 percent, a decline from the 8.7 percent rate reported a year earlier.

The Providence and New Bedford metro areas were among the 303 of the nation’s 372 that had increases in nonfarm employment, according to the government. Providence-Fall River-Warwick saw the number of workers grow 0.1 percent, or 800, to 694,300 in February. New Bedford’s gain was 0.6 percent, or 500, to 87,300 employed in the region.


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