Updated March 28 at 6:28pm

March jobless rate down in Providence metro


WASHINGTON - Unemployment rates were lower year over year in March for 342 of the nation’s 372 metropolitan areas, including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area fell 0.3 percentage points from 11.9 percent in March 2011 to 11.6 percent in March 2012.

As a whole, Rhode Island saw the opposite change, with the unemployment rate rising 0.2 percentage points from 11.6 percent to 11.8 percent over the same period.

The state’s unemployment rate, however, did drop 0.3 percentage points month over month from 12.1 percent in February 2012.

Nationally, 13 metropolitan areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15 percent, while 17 areas registered rates of less than 5 percent.

In the New Bedford metropolitan area, the March unemployment rate dropped 2.2 percentage points to 10 percent, compared with 12.2 percent in March 2011.

Two hundred sixty-seven metropolitan areas reported year-over-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment. Ninety-six – including the Providence-Fall River-Warwick area – reported decreases, and nine metro areas reported no change between 2011 and 2012.

The national unemployment rate in March was 8.4 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.2 percent in 2011.


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