Updated March 4 at 1:42pm

Metro-area labor force shrinks, jobless rate rises in Dec.

The unemployment rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area rose to 9.2 percent in December, non-seasonally adjusted, from 8.6 percent a month earlier, as the size of the labor force shrank five-tenths of a percent to 687,600 from 698,300, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Wednesday. More

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workforce

Metro-area labor force shrinks, jobless rate rises in Dec.

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WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area rose to 9.2 percent in December, non-seasonally adjusted, from 8.6 percent a month earlier, as the size of the labor force shrank one-half a percent to 687,600 from 691,200, 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 slightly in December from 9.4 percent during the same period a year earlier, while the labor force contracted 1.5 percent from 698,300 over the same 12 months.

Rhode Island’s statewide non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December was 8.9 percent, the BLS reported. The Ocean State’s labor force shrank to 551,600 from 555,800 in November and from 563,200 in December 2012.

Nationally, 339 of the 372 metro areas across the United States showed unemployment rates in December that were lower than in December 2012, with the lowest coming in at 2.8 percent in Bismarck, N.D.; Logan, Utah-Idaho; and Midland, Texas. Twenty-five metro areas had jobless rates higher than a year ago (Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., had the highest at 27.1 percent), while eight regions saw no change in their unemployment rates.

The national non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for December was 6.5 percent.

Regionally, the New Bedford metropolitan area saw a slight month-over-month jump in its jobless rate, increasing to 10.6 percent from 10.3 percent, as well as a year-over-year increase from 10.2 percent in December 2012. Its labor force declined by 200 between November and December, and decreased by 400 from a year earlier.

In Worcester, the December unemployment rate of 7.2 percent remained the same from the same period the previous year, but rose slightly (from 7.1 percent) compared with November. The Norwich-New London, Conn., metro area saw a year-over-year drop in the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December, but a month-over-month increase. Its 7.6 percent reported in December fell from 8.3 percent a year earlier and rose from 7.3 percent in November.

Providence unemployment rate, Warwick unemployment rate, Providence labor force, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

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