Metro area unemployment rate tops in U.S. again for March
THE PROVIDENCE-FALL RIVER-WARWICK unemployment rate of 9.4 percent for March ranked as the highest rate among the 49 large U.S. metro areas for a second consecutive month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
WASHINGTON – The unemployment rate in the Providence-Fall River-Warwick metro area fell to 9.4 percent in March, non-seasonally adjusted, compared with 9.6 percent a month earlier, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday.
On a year-over-year basis, the non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate declined in March from 10.3 percent during the same period a year earlier. The metro-area labor force declined one-tenth of a percent to 689,400 in March from 690,400 in February and from 690,100 in March 2013, the BLS said.
March marked the second consecutive month that Providence-Fall River-Warwick had the highest unemployment rate among the 49 metro areas with a 2000 U.S. Census population of 1 million or more. The region tied with Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., which also had an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.
Nationally, 333 of the 372 metro areas across the United States showed unemployment rates in March that were lower than in March 2013, with the lowest coming in at 2.7 percent in Midland, Texas. Thirty metro areas had jobless rates higher than a year ago (Yuma, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif., had the highest at 22.5 percent), while nine regions saw no change in their unemployment rates.
Regionally, the New Bedford metropolitan area saw month-over-month and year-over-year declines in its jobless rate. The March unemployment rate dropped to 10.8 percent, compared with 11.3 percent in February and 11.8 percent in March 2013. Its labor force grew by 500 between February and March, and by 800 from a year earlier.
In Worcester, the March unemployment rate of 7 percent represented a decline from 7.3 percent a month earlier and from 7.7 percent in March 2013. The Norwich-New London, Conn., metro area saw its non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remain flat at 7.8 percent in March, the same as the February rate and slightly below the March 2013 rate of 8.2 percent.
The national non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate for February was 6.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted.